Family at war as nephew of UKIP candidate defects to Tories

David Fowler
David Fowler

The UKIP man who hopes to unseat John Bercow at the general election received a shock this week after his nephew has defected to the Tories.

Buckingham parliamentary candidate David Fowler’s nephew Paul Irwin, who represents Waddesdon and Stone on Bucks County Council says he originally joined UKIP because of his uncle, and only stayed in the party as long as he did out of loyalty.

Councillor Paul Irwin

Councillor Paul Irwin

He now says that his uncle has ‘disowned’ him, although Mr Fowler said that while he is ‘oviously not happy’, he still loves his nephew.

Mr Irwin said: “I was never quite comfortable with UKIP.

“I am middle of centre but I am not right wing. UKIP isn’t a racist party but there are racist people in it and their policies just don’t stack up.

“My uncle has now disowned me, but if you have to say things like that to get someone to stay that’s not right.

He added: “I am trying to leave respectfully. I have always been supported by the Conservatives since I became a councillor, never by UKIP as they don’t have group meetings. They are very amateurish.

“There are an awful lots of egos and I feel like the party has grown too fast for it to cope with.

“I haven’t left for a job, I don’t want to be a cabinet member, I just love doing things in my ward and I have had so much support from people in Waddesdon.”

Plumber Mr Fowler, who also lives in Waddeson, said that while he and the party are upset, he still loves his nephew and will not break off contact.

He said: “I’m obviously not happy about it and am not particularly friendly with him at the moment, but at the end of the day he’s family and I love him to bits.

“I think he has been ill-advised by the Tories and I think he has made the wrong decision.”

He added: “I’ve spent twenty years of my life fighting the Tories and one of the people that I really trusted to be on my side has gone in the opposite direction, that I can’t understand.”

Mr Fowler also said that many people in the party, as well as his constituents are upset by Mr Irwin’s decision.

“I don’t think he realises the amount of anger it has caused, people are calling him Mussolini because he has changed sides.

“I think the honourable thing to do would be to have a by-election and see what the people want.”

He added: “But at the end of the day there have been lots of instances, not least in football where family members support different things and they don’t kill each other over it, he’s a good honest man and there isn’t a bad bone in his body.”