Mr Kemp, who has been a non-affiliated councillor for two years, has decided to join UKIP as he believes their policies are closely aligned to his own beliefs.
The pub landlord is also impressed with UKIP’s principle of not “whipping” their councillors to follow a party line, leaving him free to make decisions in the best interests of those who elected him.
“I decided to join UKIP because I feel I have gone as far as I can as an independent and having read the party’s manifesto I found I agreed with virtually all their policies,” he explained.
57-year-old Mr Kemp, who is married with two children, lives in Maryport, where he also runs two pubs, which he saved from closure.
UKIP runs a national ‘Save the Pub’ campaign which Mr Kemp is keenly supporting as he knows first hand the problems facing the licensing trade.
Mr Kemp stood in this month’s county council elections and he expressed his thanks for all the support he received during his campaign.
He becomes the party’s first borough councillor in Cumbria and has been formally welcomed by Mark Jenkinson, chairman of the West Cumbria branch and Louise Bours, a member of UKIP’s National Executive Council.
“Councillor Kemp will be a fantastic asset to the UKIP team in Cumbria. His dedication to his hometown and the community around him is unrivalled, and he will provide a strong and independent voice for those he represents,” said Louise.
Mr Kemp, is a very active member of the local community and involved with the Solway Trust, which is engaged in a number of community activities, including the harbourside festival in two weeks time for which they have raised £30,000 in funding.
They also recently took on the planting of some flower beds in Maryport that were going to be grassed over as a cost-cutting exercise. As a former garden centre owner Mr Kemp was able to use his knowledge to help with this project.