Nigel Pearce, Conservative councillor for Suffield Park ward (Cromer) … said: “After much thought and personal agonising, I have decided to join the Liberal Democrats. After many years of loyal service to the Conservative Party both as a councillor and a researcher, I can no longer reconcile myself to the policies being implemented by the ruling group on North Norfolk District Council.”
He added: “In my opinion, the problems with the current administration stem from the cabinet system where the decisions of the council are made by a very small group.”…
Liberal Democrat leader on the Council Sarah Butikofer said: “I am delighted to welcome Nigel to our team. Coming so soon after councillor Perry-Warnes left the Conservative group to sit as an independent, it is clear that there is great discontent within the Conservative group on the district council.” [Norwich Evening News]
As those quotes illustrate, Nigel Pearce’s switch seems to be very much about local politics. It’s welcome nonetheless and shows how the party’s strongly pro-European stance is compatible with winning over Conservatives in Leave-voting areas such as Norfolk.
But in traffic away from the party, a Peterborough councillor has left the Lib Dems for Labour.