POLITICS

Richard Barnes, Boris Johnson's Former Deputy Mayor, Defects To Ukip

30/09/2014 11:07 BST | Updated 30/09/2014 12:59 BST

Boris Johnson's former right-hand man has joined Ukip in the latest embarrassing defection to hit the Conservative Party.

Richard Barnes, who was deputy mayor of London from 2008 to 2012, said he was leaving because the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems do not "talk the language of normal people", The Evening Standard reported.

The news comes after Mr Johnson's recent comments that Ukip defectors are the type of people who have sex with vacuum cleaners.

He also said Tories defecting to the eurosceptic party were "utterly nuts", after MP Mark Reckless followed Douglas Carswell in announcing they were ditching the blue rosette for the purple one.

richard barnes london mayor

Richard Barnes said the three main parties didn't 'talk the language of normal people'

“There seems to be a detachment from ordinary people’s lives in the Westminster Village," Mr Barnes told the Standard.

“The parties just don’t seem to relate and talk the language of normal people.”

His membership of the Tory party had reportedly lapsed.

Last year, Mr Barnes was hit by a scandal when his Facebook account posted naked pictures of him, which he claimed was the work of hackers.

Mr Barnes said he wanted the UK to exit the EU and return to a free trade agreement with the continent.

He also dismissed David Cameron's plan to renegotiate Britain's relationship with Europe as "unrealistic" and accused the Government of failing to address immigration concerns.

In the wake of defections, Ukip-bashing has been a common theme at the Conservative Party Conference.

Former minister Ken Clarke said the party tended to attract "elderly male people who have had disappointing lives".

boris johnson

Boris Johnson has previously said Ukip defectors have sex with vacuum cleaners

Other Conservatives have also been forced to deny they are planning to join Nigel Farage's party.

Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard told BBC Shropshire his "beating heart is Conservative".

"I've been a member of the Conservative party for a very long time and I intend to stay in the Conservative party," he said.

"Yes, I'm an arch-Eurosceptic, I've been involved in most if not all of the supposedly Eurosceptic moves in the parliamentary party over the past few years and that will remain the same.

"I want us to have a referendum on Europe, and I believe the only way that can be delivered is with a Conservative government. Labour won't, the Lib Dems certainly won't, and with the best will in the world I don't think even Nigel Farage on a good day will say there's going to be a Ukip government."

Mid Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries has also insisted she will not be the next to defect.

Mr Johnson is due to deliver his main speech to the Tory conference in Birmingham later.

In a cameo appearance at a rally last night, he urged the "the great conservative family" to unite to defeat Labour - in the same appearance when he also said: "there are some people – probably the type who are thinking of defecting to UKIP – who present themselves at A&E with barely credible injuries sustained through vacuum cleaner abuse."

Before this, former party leadership candidate David Davis told a conference fringe event should not insult Ukip voters.