Nantwich town councillor Stuart Hutton has left the Conservatives to join UKIP.

Cllr Hutton (pictured right), who was elected to the council last year, announced his surprise move this week.

“I am a passionate believer in traditional Conservative values – liberty, opportunity, empowerment of the individual, internationalism and the small state – and it was upon those values I was elected,” said Cllr Hutton.

“But in its support for the EU, which would seek to re-impose the conditions that bought about the near collapse of our country in the 1970s, the Conservative Party has abandoned those values.

“I am certain that the United Kingdom Independence Party best represents not only the views and beliefs of those who elected me, but also the best interests for everyone in our country – and those in Europe,” said 35-year-old Cllr Hutton.

“I’m a chartered engineer and I deal in numbers, absolutes, quantifiable and verifiable. I know that if the stress calculations in a bridge don’t add up, it will fall down.

“This is exactly what we see in Europe – there are too many inherent stresses that cannot be reconciled. Instead of instilling peace, the EU is creating friction and inequality between member states and misery for their peoples. This bridge is falling down,” he said.

“As a town councillor I am always interested in the concerns of local people and many believe the £50 million a day given away by our government to the EU could be better spent on public services and stimulating growth and jobs in our economy.

“They feel let down by David Cameron’s failure to honour his ‘cast iron guarantee’ for a referendum on British membership of the EU.

“I look forward to working with UKIP – and helping to craft coherent, practical policies, on industry, education, employment and the economy, within a general framework that will empower the people in our country to create a better, brighter future for everyone,” added Cllr Hutton, who lives in Nantwich with his wife and their eight-month-old daughter.