Recently I made one of the hardest decisions of my life. You might think that for an 18-year-old like me it would be moving in with my partner, or finally choosing which course and University I’m going to; but no.
Since 2010, I’ve been an active member of UKIP. I can remember at the ripe old age of 12 leafleting to help for their general election campaign with my grandfather. Over my time in the party I met some of the most brilliant people and found some of my best friends; it’s certainly no lie that if it weren’t for UKIP, I would never have found my partner, nor ever had the opportunity to see what it’s like to campaign with very little equipment, and with a bipolar public image that could get you both hugged and spat on in the space of 5 minutes.
Of course, that was 6 years ago now, and recently I made the decision to join the Tories. This is the first time I’ve announced to many that I’ve left UKIP, although, on the plus side, I’m sure many of my friends in the Conservative party will be happy to hear this. Telling a few of my close friends that I’d left reminded me of what it felt like to come out the closet!
So to explain my motives as to why I made this change, it’s best to state it this way: I’m a libertarian. I believe most strongly in the freedoms of the individual to have control over their social and economic prospects. I believe that I’m now best placed to achieve this within the Conservative Party. We’re the only party locally that has the ability to make a difference on the councils, the only party that can make substantial change in order to reclaim the freedom our forefathers have fought for, and the only party that, in the past, has stood up and fought so vehemently to protect both economic and social liberties.
It was the Conservative party to first have a sitting female MP, to first have a female Prime Minister. It was the Conservative party that legalised Gay marriage and allowed the Churches to finally decide their own religious stances, not be dictated to by the state. It was our party that brought into legislation a referendum on our membership of the European Union, and I hope it will be our party to finally take us out of it.
To quote Margaret Thatcher: “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it”, and our fight for liberty and freedom is one which will always occur. I hope that all those in UKIP respect my decision, as I have made sure to make this piece positive as to what I can achieve within the Conservative party, rather than the bountiful reasons as to why I have left UKIP. And I certainly hope that my new family will become as close to me as my last once was!
Find me on Twitter: @_JamieHollywood