The former Conservative councillor who spectacularly resigned during a dramatic council meeting on Wednesday has said there is a "strong possibility" she will defect to UKIP.

Councillor Suzanne Evans shocked councillors by announcing her resignation at Merton Council's annual Mayor Making meeting on Wednesday, citing a "poisonous war" among the party had forced her hand.

Councillor Richard Hilton, Councillor Rod Scott and Councillor Linda Scott also resigned from the party and confirmed they would be joining Coun Evans in a new group.

This morning it was confirmed Councillor Chris Edge had also left the party - the fifth to do so - although it is not yet clear if he will be joining the new group.

Coun Evans, now an independent member for Hillside ward, said she was not aware of his departure from the group until this morning but that she was "delighted".

When asked about the possibility of her joining UKIP she said: "I haven’t made the decision yet, but I read their 2010 manifesto and found myself agreeing with what they had to say.

"To me they seem more conservative than the Conservatives."

She also revealed that both she and Coun Hilton had received personal phone calls from Nigel Farage, UKIP's leader, inviting them to join his party.

She said: "The party that I have campaigned for and worked hard for, up to 30 hour weeks, cannot pick up the phone and say 'won’t you reconsider'?

"In contrast Nigel Farage has picked up the phone and spoken to me and Richard in person.

"He has taken the time out of his incredibly busy schedule to talk to me and invited us to join and I think that is amazing.

"That’s the kind of leadership I want to see.

"I want to talk to my family about any decision but I have been incredibly impressed."

On his former party Coun Hilton said: "There have been long-standing and significant disagreements on issues such as council tax where I feel Merton Council should be delivering a significant 15 to 20 per cent cut.

"This could easily be done without affecting frontline services and some senior council officers have already acknowledged this to us.

"Equally on issues like ‘local homes for local people’ or additional police officers funded by the council there has been deep resistance within the Conservative Group.

"These are the issues I will be standing for in 2014 for the residents of Lower Morden and it is certainly possible that it will be as a UKIP candidate."

Coun Evans said she had written a letter to her residents in Hillside, who elected her as a member of the Conservative party - to explain her actions today.

She said: "I told them I am considering it and I think it is a strong possibility."

Should Coun Evans announce a defection to UKIP, and if more than 20 percent of Hillside residents oppose her remaining as their councillor, a bi-election would be called.

She said: "I’m more than happy with that - that’s fair."

Coun Evans has been widely criticised by councillors from all parties for choosing to resign at a Mayor Making meeting, overshadowing Councillor Krystal Miller’s appointment to the role.

The ceremonial evening is a typically non-political event when councillors welcome the new Mayor and thank the former for their efforts throughout the year.

Councillor Peter Southgate, of the Merton Park Independents, said: "The Annual Council Meeting is intended to be the ceremonial inauguration of the first citizen of the borough; to hijack it by springing an alternative candidate was an act of extraordinary hubris.

"It was offensive to the great majority of elected members, and more particularly to those in the public gallery, including friends and relations of the Mayor, Cllr Krystal Miller."

Councillor Iain Dysart, leader of the Merton Liberal Democrats, said: "By choosing to hijack the Mayor Making meeting, at which we're supposed to remember what unites rather than divides us, they have done neither Merton, their former colleagues nor themselves any favours."

Responding to criticism Coun Evans said: "I have absolutely no regrets.

"Nobody was listening to us.

"It got to a point where we would have to do something pretty dramatic to get any notice."