UPDATE: Plymouth Labour have just updated this video, welcoming three of their new members to the local party:
Half the members of the Liberal Democrat Party Executive in Plymouth have defected to Labour, just two days before the election.
The four former Plymouth Lib Dems said they are switching sides to join a “campaigning party working for social justice”.
Those who have defected are Jan Mortier, elected vice chair; Tom Sale, membership officer; Max Harding, data officer; and Dominic House, youth officer.
Jan, Tom, Max and Dominic’s short experience of the Lib Dems has not put them off getting involved in politics but they are disillusioned with Nick Clegg’s party in Plymouth.
Dominic House said:
“They don’t campaign – the party seems to have been run by a very small group of people who aren’t interested in improving peoples lives. We want to join a party that listens to and stands up for people.”
Local Labour candidate Linda Gilroy, standing for parliament in the Plymouth Sutton and Devonport constituency welcomed the new members into the Labour Party:
“We are always very pleased to welcome people into our party who share our values of social justice and progress. We are particularly pleased that these young people want to play an active role in our campaign, to ensure that Plymouth keeps its strong Labour voice in parliament.”
This is not the first time that Plymouth’s Liberal Democrats have been rocked in the south west. Last year, the Lib Dem HQ at Cowley Street suspended the entire party machine in Plymouth due to infighting and accusations of impropriety. The party is still suspended and the Lib Dems’ ‘new politics’ in Plymouth is being run by its two Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidates rather than its members.
Luke Pollard, Labour’s candidate in SW Devon said:
“Whatever their reasons for leaving the Liberal Democrats it is great to have four extra helpers so close to such an important election here in Plymouth. It is a two horse race in Plymouth between Labour and the Conservatives and this defection just highlights that voting for any other party than Labour will be a vote for the Tories.”