Another day, another new MP for the Liberal Democrats – and another step forward in making the party more diverse as Sam Gyimah joins the party at the Bournemouth conference rally:
Former Conservative MP Sam Gyimah has joined the Liberal Democrats.
Six MPs have defected to the party in recent weeks, including former Tory MP Philip Lee, and ex-Labour MPs Luciana Berger and Chuka Umunna.
Mr Gyimah was one of the 21 Tories who had the Conservative whip removed after rebelling against Boris Johnson in a bid to prevent a no-deal Brexit. [BBC]
Sam Gyimah said:
I’m delighted to be joining the Liberal Democrats at this pivotal time in our country’s politics.
The two old parties have moved to the edges of the political spectrum – each with their own brand of intolerance and division – leaving millions politically homeless. It doesn’t have to be like this.
Jo is leading a real movement to unite the centre, bringing together liberal-minded people to offer a real alternative.
Boris Johnson created a stark choice for moderate, progressive MPs in the Conservative party; to accept a No-Deal Brexit or walk away from public life. I choose to continue to fight for the values I have always believed in, as a Liberal Democrat.
We are not immune to the corrosive effects of populism sweeping Western democracies. We, as Liberal Democrats, have to seize the opportunity to stand against them.
After nine years as an MP and having served on the front bench for seven, I have a lot to give both my constituents, and the Liberal Democrats, in taking on this challenge.
Jo Swinson welcomed the MP for East Surrey to the party, saying:
Sam Gyimah is a fantastic Remain campaigner. He was one of the 21 Conservative MPs that had the whip removed for helping us to stop no deal.
He is a man of principle, and I’m so glad he’s joined the Liberal Democrats this evening.
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