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Tory MP Christian Wakeford defects to Labour

Tory MP Christian Wakeford defects to Labour.. Tory MP Christian Wakeford has defected to the Labour Party and called on Boris Johnson to quit as prime minister.

Tory MP Christian Wakeford defects to Labour
Tory MP Christian Wakeford defects to Labour—-

Mr Wakeford took the Bury South seat from Labour at the 2019 general election.

He was among the MPs believed to have written a letter of no confidence in Mr Johnson, following revelations about lockdown parties in Number 10.

His defection came as Mr Johnson faced Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer at Prime Minister’s Questions.

In a letter to Mr Johnson, Mr Wakeford told the prime minister that “you and the Conservative Party as a whole have shown themselves incapable of offering the leadership and government this country deserves”.

He was cheered by Labour MPs as he crossed the floor of the Commons chamber to join his new colleagues.

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In his letter, Mr Wakeford said Labour was “ready to provide an alternative government that this country can be proud of, and not embarrassed by”.

He said the changes his constituents needed could “only be delivered by a Labour government with Keir Starmer”.

‘Hot-headed’

But Jake Berry, Tory MP and former Northern Powerhouse Minister, said: “I think it was a terrible mistake by Christian… I think he’s misjudged the mood of his constituents.”

He told BBC Politics Live: “I think it’s slightly hot-headed of him. Of course it is his decision, but I don’t think his decision is one that the people of Bury South will support.”

Offering Mr Wakeford a “warm welcome” to his party at Prime Minister’s Questions, Sir Keir said: “As Christian said, the policies of the Conservative government are doing nothing to help the people of Bury South and indeed are only making the struggles they face on a daily basis worse.”

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Mr Johnson replied: “The Conservative Party won Bury South for the first time in a generation under this prime minister.”

He said the party had won “on an agenda of uniting and levelling up and delivering for the people of Bury South. We will win again in Bury South,” to loud cheers from Conservative MPs.

But Sir Keir said “Bury South is now a Labour seat, prime minister.”

‘By-election needed’

The left-wing Momentum campaign group said Mr Wakeford “should be nowhere near the Labour Party”.

“Wakeford should be booted out of Labour and a by-election called immediately,” a spokesman added. “Labour must back a candidate that will stand up for the people of Bury South and against this Tory government.”

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The last MP to defect from the Conservatives to Labour was Quentin Davies in 2007, when Gordon Brown was prime minister. Before that it was Robert Jackson in 2005 and Shaun Woodward, who joined Tony Blair’s Labour Party in 1999.

Mr Wakeford is one of the Red Wall Conservatives, who won traditional Labour seats in the north of England at the 2019 election.

The 37-year-old former insurance broker and Lancashire county councillor took Bury South by just 402 votes from Labour candidate Lucy Burke.

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