Mark Logan: Who is the Tory Bolton North East MP who has defected to Labour?

Tom Belger
Conservative MP Mark Logan, who has defected to Labour.
Conservative MP Mark Logan, who has defected to Labour.

The Conservative MP Mark Logan has announced his defection to Labour, suggesting “things can only get better” under a Labour government led by Keir Starmer and signalling he was unhappy with the government’s stance on Gaza.

The MP posted a statement on Thursday night, in a development Labour figures will hope starts to shift the news agenda away from bitter internal rows over candidate selections and what critics dub a “purge’ of the left – after Faiza Shaheen and Lloyd Russell-Moyle were deselected and Diane Abbott’s future hangs in the balance.

Logan said he had “consistently lobbied the UK government” over Gaza, and said he wanted an immediate cessation of hostilities and recognition for Palestine.

Logan has represented Bolton North East since 2019, when he won the “red wall” seat from Labour, and his defection is likely to be seen as another blow for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s chance of holding onto voters persuaded to vote Tory for the first time by Boris Johnson in 2019.

Logan only had a majority of just a few hundred votes, however, and on current polling is likely to have lost his seat.

It follows the defection of Natalie Elphicke a few weeks ago, which sparked a significant backlash within Labour, and it remains to be seen whether Logan’s defection could also spark fresh tensions.  He has said he will not contest the seat at the general election.

Logan’s page on the Conservatives’ website, now deleted, previously said his working life included working as a diplomat in China. “Immediately prior to the election he worked in the private sector where he is involved in international business – an important skill as we leave the European Union and export ‘Global Britain’ to the rest of the world,” it once read.

His own website, which also now appears to be down, previously said he is “not a career politician having worked in business before and after serving the UK in the Foreign Office”. He was a “senior executive in a multinational company, and was most recently a senior director in a leading management consultancy”.

It said he “believes too many people in parliament have worked in the political and London bubble for too long, and thus are detached from the realities of life in modern Britain”. The MP “wants to serve every person and family in Bolton North East so that people are heard and can live their lives in peace and prosperity”.

It also said he was committed to bringing extra police, NHS and school funding, entrepeneurs and foreign investment to Bolton.

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