UKIP release statement on Tory defections.

"This afternoon UKIP secured the formal defection of Skegness Conservative Councillor Robin Hunter-Clarke. The announcement is the latest in a long line of young faces joining the increasingly confident movement that is improving its appeal with youngsters across the UK."

"Much credit for this strategy has to go for rather likeable leader Nigel Farage, who oozes energy in an irresistible cocktail of charm and intelligence. Once upon a time, the Conservatives were able to easily typecast UKIP as anti-European fruitcakes, obsessed with a single issue, with nothing further to bring to the table."

"However, this rather astute brand expansion exercise will make it increasingly difficult for the Conservatives to pin the tail on the donkey. Rewind back a few years and UKIP were not a serious threat, fast forward to the next election and they could well be."