[UPDATE: The Richmond & Twickenham Times is now reporting that Scott Naylor has joined UKIP.] Previously….
He’s only gone and bloody done it, hasn’t he? If El Brute’s website is to be believed then Twickenham Riverside Councillor Scott Naylor has ‘gone indie’. That’s right, ‘Nails’ seems to have relinquished the Conservative whip and declared himself to be an independent, or should that be ‘UK Independent’? Where there were once three Tory Councillors for Twickenham Riverside ward, now there’s one local Conservative, one councillor who’s enjoying spending a good deal of her time down in Cornwall and Scott Naylor, Independent. We’re not surprised by the news. You’re not surprised by the news. Scott’s opposition to the station redevelopment can’t have endeared him to the suits at party HQ (do they wear suits at local party HQs? Surely tweed jackets and Hush Puppies are more the norm). Add to this a series of ‘European flavoured’ tweets, the recent announcement from the local Conservative party that he would not be representing them at the next election, the substitution of his “Boris and me” Twitter profile picture with a family shot and the scene was set for a defection to the Scott Party (membership: 1). The only thing that’s strange is that Scott, usually just as vocal on Twitter as he is in the real world, went very quiet for a while. We even asked him for a comment about his new found freedom but as yet haven’t had a reply.
And what about this UKIP business? When Scott says independent, we interpret that as a courtesy title for the near future. We’d heard that Nails was planning to don the purple & yellow of UKIP, presumably in time for the 2014 election and that now looks highly likely. In the run up to his renunciation of the (Lord) True way, was it just a co-incidence that a Richmond & Twickenham UKIP account popped up on Twitter? But not just any UKIP account, oh no. It’s a Twitter account that seemed very well informed about Scott. And perhaps it was another co-incidence that UKIP were out leafleting by the river on the day of the Diamond Jubilee Gardens 1st birthday party, a day when Nails was cooking up a sausage or two for the locals only a short distance away. And late yesterday we finally got to see a Twitter picture of Scott with none other than Mr Nigel Farage himself. And there we have it.
Of Scott’s defection one ward resident (who cannot be named for legal reasons) told us, “We were already effectively down to only 2 out of 3 councillors, before this. I hope we aren’t now going to find all our local issues turned into one long election campaign. There are real people with real problems to be sorted; that’s what we pay councillors to do, regardless of their personal changes of allegiance”.
So what now? Summer’s here and so no doubt the local Lib Dems will look to make some political hay while the sun shines. Are the local Conservatives worried about losing seats to UKIP next year? Probably. And what does Scott see his role as being between now and the next election? Perhaps we might even see another slanging match on here. Tell you what, if we’re lucky we might even see if we can can get some comments from real Twickenham riverside residents on Scott’s newly won (UK) independence.