Christian Wakeford: Bury South MP defects from the Conservatives to Labour after blasting ‘disgraceful’ PM

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The Red Wall MP has dramatically crossed the House and heavily criticised Prime Minister Boris Johnson in his departure letter.

A Greater Manchester MP has dramatically defected from the Conservatives to Labour.

Christian Wakeford, who represents Bury South, switched from the blue rosette to the red just minutes before Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday (19 January).

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In his resignation letter Mr Wakeford strongly criticised Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the direction of Conservative policy with relation to northern English seats and communities.

He has already been welcomed into the fold by his new political party.

Christian Wakeford MP, who represents Bury SouthChristian Wakeford MP, who represents Bury South
Christian Wakeford MP, who represents Bury South | Houses of Parliament

Why did Christian Wakeford cross the house?

Mr Wakeford, who won the Bury South seat for the Conservatives in the December 2019 election with a majority of just 402, has criticised the Government and ministers a number of times in recent months.

And now he has finally broken ranks and decided to join the opposition benches in the House of Commons.

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The move comes amid considerable fury about the Downing Street ‘Partygate’ scandals and as it has been suggested that concern about Mr Johnson’s leadership is growing among MPs in the so-called Red Wall seats in the north of Midlands, many of which were shock Conservative victories in 2019.

In his letter Mr Wakeford explained that he had applied to join the Labour Party and would be representing Bury South as a Labour MP from Wednesday.

He said the programme put forward by Sir Keir Starmer and Labour represents the best interests of his constituents and stated he believes the Conservatives are doing nothing to help residents in Bury South and are making their lives worse.

He described the party as “consistently out of touch” and had scathing words for Mr Johnson, saying his conduct had been “disgraceful”.

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Mr Wakeford said he had wrestled with his conscience for some months over switching political allegiances but finally concluded he had no other choice.

On social media the Labour Party’s official account offered “a very warm welcome” to Mr Wakeford. The Conservative party has yet to respond.

Mr Wakeford initially broke the news of his departure from the Conservatives to his local newspaper, the Bury Times.

‘Rebelling over levelling up’

Meanwhile, GM Mayor Andy Burnham today told a radio phone-in Red Wall MPs are rebelling against Boris Johnson because of his ‘failure’ to deliver on promises to level up the country.

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Speaking on BBC Radio Manchester before the new broke of Mr Wakeford’s defection, Mr Burnham said: He said: “It’s interesting that the 2019 MPs – the so-called Red Wall MPs – are leading the rebellion. I think that’s because they feel there’s been a failure to honour promises on levelling up, as well the observing of the rules in the pandemic. So I think it’s interesting that the rebellion is coming from there.

“The Prime Minister came to Manchester days within taking office and promised a new railway line between Manchester and Leeds and we have been told before Christmas that we’re not getting that.

“There’s things like that also in the background here.”

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