Sunday, 25 April 2010

At last – those two defections to the Tories

More than a week ago, I sparked a bit of a flurry of interest by posting what I believed to be imminent news that two Lib Dems were jumping ship to the Tories. I can now reveal that the two defectors are long-standing Lib Dems, who had been sitting as Liberals for the last three years, after becoming increasing upset at the party.

Tony and Simon Inch, who currently sit as Liberal Councillors for Bideford South in Torridge District Council, are backing Conservative Geoffrey Cox (right) in his campaign for re-election in Torridge and West Devon.

Tony Inch, a former Mayor of Bideford and respected town and district councillor, said: “Simon and I have always had a good working relationship with Geoffrey.”

“We know how hard he works. He has always been friendly, approachable and supportive. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you have a problem he is your MP and that is all that counts.”

“We are both campaigning for Geoffrey to carry on being our MP. He is a true local constituency MP who works for the whole community first and foremost.”

The brothers left the Liberal Democrats in July 2007 in disgust after it emerged a colleague in the party was running a sex chat-line and advertising stripteases on the Internet.

Last night Mr Cox said: “I am proud to have won the support of Tony and Simon, whom I greatly respect as really good servants of our community. Their support shows that more and more people of traditional Liberal beliefs are increasingly seeing the modern Conservative Party as a congenial home.”

It marks a major move for the Inch brothers, and is a reflection on the way the Tory party is viewed in the Westcountry. I know of other long-standing Lib Dem supporters elsewhere in Devon and Cornwall, who come from the more traditional, Methodist history of the party, who are upset at the way the party has selected candidates and some of its campaigning methods.

However, it is not all one way traffic.Last week it emerged the former chairman of the Redruth Labour party Janet Brook had switched to back Lib-Dem Julia Goldsworthy in Camborne and Redruth. Mrs Brook said the Labour had changed, adding: “The Lib Dems are the only party standing up for ordinary working people”.

This defection clearly did not upset Labour's candidate Jude Robinson, who posted on Twitter:
The Lib Dems getting desperate in #Camborne. A 'switcher' that no-one has heard of and another who was last seen in 2001. #bestyoucando?

1 comment:

  1. So, these defections were LIBERALS and not Lib Dems at all? They're not long-standing LDs now if they left in 2007, are they? I see you've used the word ARE? ARE?! How about WERE...3 YEARS AGO!

    So, there wasn't any defections from Lib Dem to Tory? After your flurry of posts on the subject, it turns out these people had left the Lib Dems 3 years ago and this is a complete non-story?

    An apology wouldn't go amiss for leading people down a non-existent path, because you couldn't wait to get your facts straight before reporting. Even when you did get the story together, it's factually incorrect.

    Let us know when you think you've got it together.