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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 January 2007, 00:14 GMT
Conservative peer defects to UKIP
The Earl of Dartmouth
The Earl of Dartmouth said he was disappointed in David Cameron
A Conservative peer and former candidate in general and European elections has announced he is defecting to the UK Independence Party.

The Earl of Dartmouth said he was joining the party because he thought Britain would be better off outside the European Union.

He also criticised Tory leader David Cameron, accusing him of becoming a "slave to political correctness".

He is the third Conservative peer to defect to UKIP in recent weeks.

Lord Dartmouth, who was until last week president of the Colne Valley Conservative Association, lost his hereditary seat in the House of Lords in Labour's reforms.

'Very disappointed'

Commenting on his defection he said: "Britain and Northern Ireland would be better off outside the European Union.

"We would no longer be paying a net 11 billion a year. We would no longer be subjected to ill-considered, job-destroying regulation.

"We would regain control of our borders. We could engage with the world outside the EU, in particular the fast-growing economies of India and China, on our own terms and in our own way."

In a separate interview with Channel 4 News he said he was "very disappointed" with David Cameron's leadership.

"He has become a slave to political correctness," he said.

"His chosen themes are things like hug a hoodie and green taxes - all of which are of very little concern to people outside the Notting Hill Gate and Westminster villages."

Earlier this month Conservative peers Lord Pearson and Lord Willoughby de Broke announced they were switching to UKIP.

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