THE only UK Independence Party representative on Bradford Council has announced he has quit the party.

Councillor Brian Morris, who represents Keighley West ward, confirmed his "reluctant" departure this week.

He was joined in his departure by Councillor Peter Corkindale, who had been the only UKIP councillor left on Keighley Town Council.

Both have said they will remain as independent councillors, though Cllr Morris said he would not be standing again when his seat is up for re-election in 2018.

Cllr Morris, a former town councillor who was elected to the district council on a UKIP ticket in May 2014, said he was not motivated by any disillusionment with the party.

He explained that he felt Keighley's own priorities now lie with gaining independence from Bradford Council, and argues it would not be appropriate to campaign for this objective under a UKIP banner.

He said: "The party has come a long way from the time I joined and has achieved what was said to be impossible.

"Because of UKIP the UK is on the road to freedom from the clutches of the European Union and its dictatorship. My resignation has no reflection on the party as a whole – it is simply that Keighley has other battles to fight with the local district council.

"From 1974 Keighley and surrounding towns and villages have been part of City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council and have seen a massive reduction in services, even though our town pays the lion's share of the taxes collected by Bradford.

"Services have been reduced. I and many others believe they have been reduced unjustly to benefit the city centre.

"After consultation and deliberation with others who are of the same mind in Keighley we believe our fight is now on home ground, and we will fight to have the parliamentary constituencies of Keighley with Ilkley and Shipley devolved from Bradford."

Cllr Morris said he would like to see a new district council that would incorporate Keighley, Ilkley, Bingley and Shipley.

"It's not going to happen overnight, but we know the support is out there," he said.

Cllr Corkindale, who represents the town council's Oakworth ward, said: "I've not fallen out with UKIP. I joined the party because I wanted out of Europe, not for any other reasons, Brexit should achieve that.

"At the moment I don't believe Keighley is getting the kind of service that it should be getting. For example, you only have to look at how long they've been talking about trying to get a one-way system for the town.

"The district councillors from Keighley are always going to get outvoted, so democratically there's no way they can win many battles. We want to address that imbalance."