Labour candidate defects to the Lib Dems!

From the BBC

A blow struck at Bliar! May many more rain on his unfeasibly swollen head!

Labour candidate joins Lib Dems

Charles Kennedy has welcomed Stephen Wilkinson
A Labour parliamentary candidate has defected to the Liberal Democrats.
Stephen Wilkinson, formerly Labour's candidate for Ribble Valley, said he was disillusioned with Tony Blair's "increasingly authoritarian" party.

Mr Wilkinson is due to appear alongside Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy at a news conference in Manchester.

Mr Kennedy said: "When Labour cannot even retain the support of their own candidates, it is surely a sign of things to come."

Mr Wilkinson said: "Until yesterday I was a Labour Party candidate - chosen by Labour to fight the general election.

"Today, I am announcing that I have left the Labour Party and am joining the Liberal Democrats.

"Like many former Labour voters and activists, I feel angry that Labour have become increasingly authoritarian and failed to safeguard civil liberties."

He criticised the use of the threat of terror to push for house arrest and compulsory ID cards and to justify the illegal war in Iraq.

"Who could have thought that a Labour government would become a lapdog to George Bush's right-wing Republican administration?"

He praised Charles Kennedy's Liberal Democrats as "honest and straightforward" but said the Conservatives were "neither principled nor credible".

Mr Wilkinson will not be a parliamentary candidate, as the Liberal Democrats had already picked a candidate for the constituency.

Mr Wilkinson told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that he had been selected by the Labour Party as a parliamentary candidate in August last year, and he had been considering his position for "quite a long period of time".

"I just physically didn't feel I could continue to be part of the Labour Party," he said, adding that his decision was not only influenced by the party's own stand on issues.

"I've seen what's happened within the Liberal Democrats and the positive things that they're doing," he said.

Mr Wilkinson stressed that "unlike a lot of people who change in politics, this isn't about self-interest".

He would not be standing as a Lib Dem candidate in the forthcoming general election, but would campaign for them.

Mr Wilkinson said he would also resign the group whip as a Labour member of Lancashire County Council.

Mr Wilkinson accepted that he was "disappointed with the local party" that he wasn't reselected for his county council seat.

"I'm not going to pretend otherwise," he said.
I agree with your sentiments entirely, but some how the spin boys(Cabinet) will turn the whole thing around to being a massive Govt victory and then dismiss it. The toadying press will then support them and that will be that. Watch the names on the next honours list.

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