A Liberal Democrat from Somalia took the “drastic” decision to join UKIP during his own election count, according to Local London. Sabriye Warsame decided to join the party after his UKIP opponent in the London Borough of Brent made a joke about him not wanting to the a Liberal Democrat.
Warsame failed to win the seat of Colindale, scoring just 87 votes after having been a Liberal Democrat supporter for five years. His UKIP opponent, John Baskin, also lost but did pick up Warsame as a new member. Labour won with over 2000 votes for each of their candidates.
John Baskin said: “We were sitting waiting at the count and I was joking with him – I said to him, you don’t want to be a Liberal Democrat.
“He said ‘okay then, where do I sign up?’ I was flabbergasted.”
Mr Warsame was officially welcomed into his new party last week and claims he e-mailed Liberal Democrat leader Jack Cohen to explain his actions. But Cllr Cohen, who is leader by default as he is the only Lib Dem on Brent Council, claims he has not received any explanation of Warsame’s actions.
He said: “I’m surprised and disappointed he didn’t say anything to begin with. I don’t what the reasons are, or what the motives could possibly be.”
But Warsame was unapologetic about his defection and said he was “very excited” about joining UKIP. He said: “It’s not a racist party. I am a proud Muslim looking forward to joining UKIP. I know it’s a drastic decision, but I support them wholeheartedly.
“They’ve come up with good policies which work for everyone – jobs, education, pensions and welfare. They look at the bigger picture of what’s going on. I e-mailed Cllr Cohen – who I like very much – about my decision but I haven’t heard anything back.”
Warsame is a father of eight who was born in Somalia and moved to the United Kingdom in 2000. He is now widely expected to run for Brent Council under the UKIP banner but that may take some time as the next local election in the borough is nearly four years away.