Clive Skelton, who has been a Lib Dem Councillor in Sheffield since 2004, has defected to Labour. Prior to his defection Skelton was a member of the Lib Dem Groups’ shadow cabinet and was their chief whip.
Just 14 months ago the Lib Dems ran Sheffield Council, now they have just 22 councillors. Following his resignation, Skelton said:
“I have been a member of the Liberal Democrats for 20 years but the party I joined no longer seems to exist. I believe in progressive left-of-centre politics, and so have watched with increasing concern, anger and desperation as Nick Clegg has overseen an alarming lurch to the right.
“The recent damaging NHS reforms were the last straw for me – I am not prepared to be a cheerleader for David Cameron and his Tory government, so I have decided enough is enough.
“I am proud and excited to be joining a Labour Party which, under Ed Miliband nationally and Julie Dore in Sheffield, has a strong vision for building a better Britain. I will continue to work hard for my constituents in Beauchief and Greenhill.”
Sheffield MP Nick Clegg will be delighted…
Update: Meanwhile in Lancaster, the former Lib Dem leader (and former council leader) Stuart Langhorn has also defected to Labour, saying:
“I can’t sit idly by and watch them destroy everything I hold dear.”