Amid what he calls an “undemocratic atmosphere,” a former United Conservative Party member has announced he will sit as an independent MLA.

On Tuesday, Rick Strankman said he was leaving the UCP due to “hyper partisan self-centered politics” that underscore Albertans’ best interests.

“Since the amalgamation of the Wildrose and the Progressive Conservative parties, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that this is not including the grassroots principles of strong conservative Albertan values,” Strankman wrote.

He added members of the Drumheller-Stettler constituency have encouraged the decision.

Strankman was elected to his second term representing the Drumheller-Stettler constituency in May 2015.