Conservative MP defects to Labour as calls grow for Boris Johnson’s resignation

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Conservative MP Christian Wakeford dramatically defected from the Conservatives to Labour.
The MP said Johnson had not shown the leadership “this country deserves.”
It places Boris Johnson’s leadership in even deeper peril.

Conservative MP Christian Wakeford defected to the opposition Labour Party after calling on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign.

The dramatic announcement came minutes before Johnson was due to be grilled by members of parliament during Prime Minister’s Questions as calls continue to grow for Johnson to resign.

Wakeford was cheered by Labour MPs as he entered the House of Commons chamber and made his way to the Labour benches. Conservatives were stony-faced and quiet as Labour leader Keir Starmer welcomed Wakeford to the party.

—Sebastian Payne (@SebastianEPayne) January 19, 2022


Wakeford was elected to the seat of Bury South in northern England in 2019. He announced on Wednesday had submitted a letter of no-confidence on Boris Johnson.

The prime minister said: “The Conservative won Bury South for the first time in generations with an agenda of uniting and leveling up for the people of Bury South. We will win again in Bury South.”

In a letter to David Nuttall, chairman of Bury South Conservatives, reported by his local paper The Bury Times, Wakeford said: “I wish to inform you inform you that I have today written to the Prime Minister to tell him of my decision to resign from the Conservative Party and apply to join the Labour Party.”

Wakeford said he needed “a government that upholds the highest standards of integrity and probity in public life and sadly both the Prime Minister and the Conservative Party as a whole have shown themselves incapable of offering the leadership and government this country deserves.”

Labour confirmed the announcement on Wednesday.

—The Labour Party (@UKLabour) January 19, 2022

In a statement, Starmer said: “I would like to welcome Christian Wakeford to the Labour Party. He has always put the people of Bury South first.”

“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.”

“People across Britain faces a cost of living crisis but this incompetent Tory government is asleep at the wheel, distracted by a chaos of its own making.

“Meanwhile families, businesses and pensioners are suffering from the Conservative failure to tackle rising food, fuel and energy prices.”

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