It’s not only former Conservatives joining the Liberal Democrats. Former Labour people are too, at this latest example from Bolton shows. It features Cllr Debbie Newall, a Cabinet member on Bolton Council who then fell out with the Labour Party over how it did (or rather, didn’t) investigate bullying accusations in the party:
Cllr Debbie Newall, who represents Breighmet Ward, left the Labour Group in 2018 after the party repeatedly failed to sanction a Labour councillor for many instances of bullying and abusive behaviour towards other councillors and residents. Since then she has sat in the chamber as an independent, but will sit in the next Council Meeting on 21st August as a full member of the Liberal Democrat group.
Liberal Democrat group leader, Cllr Roger Hayes, said:
“I am delighted to welcome Cllr Newall to the Liberal Democrat group and I’m certain she’ll be an incredible addition to the team.
“The knowledge and experience Debbie brings from her time as an Executive Cabinet member is sure to be a huge asset as we strive to hold the ruling Conservative group to the promises they made to the residents of Bolton.”
When asked why she had chosen to join the Liberal Democrats Cllr Newall said:
“Perhaps the main driving force for me was Brexit. The Liberal Democrats have been unequivocally open and honest about their policy to fight for an exit from Brexit from the very morning of the referendum result.
“It’s a stark contrast from the incoherent ‘half-in, half-out’ approach adopted by the Labour Party.
“Locally too, the Liberal Democrats have shown that despite being smaller than either Labour or the Conservatives, their passion and drive to deliver real change for residents is unparalleled. Their willingness to work across party boundaries to deliver positive results is refreshing and It’s a real pleasure to be joining such a forward thinking team.”