THURROCK UKIP MEP Tim Aker says he "no choice" but to defect to the Independents.

Speaking after the shock announcment 17 UKIP have resigned in order to join the Thurrock Independent Party, Mr Aker, who will remain as a UKIP Mep said: "UKIP has a job to do in the European Parliament in seeing we get the Brexit we voted for.  I will stay as a UKIP MEP.  

"But to better represent my constituents in Aveley, I had no choice but to follow my colleagues and represent the Thurrock Independents.  We are one seat away from taking control of the council and bringing real change to our borough."

The mass defection makes Thurrock Independents the official opposition on Thurrock Council.  

 UKIP's building in Orsett Road in Grays will remain as the MEPs office.