by Stephen Tall on July 15, 2009
It’s only a couple of weeks since Lib Dem Voice noted the defection of Denton and Reddish parliamentary candidate Paul Moss from the Lib Dems to Labour. Now comes news of a second defection, this time of Karen Wright, a former Lib Dem leader on Tameside council and a councillor for 12 years, until she stood down in 2008. The Manchester Evening News reports:
Explaining her decision to quit the Lib Dems, Ms Wright said: “The timing of my move was always going to be difficult but, the failure of the Lib Dems to put forward a candidate in the by-election in Denton North East was the final straw for me. While I’ve always believed in positive campaigning and have no interest in slating my old party, it’s become obvious to me that the Lib Dems in Tameside have become disorganised and are now showing little sign of understanding what local people need.”
A north west Liberal Democrat spokesman said it had supported Ms Wright through her relationship problems and thanked her for her service. He said: “We are disappointed that Karen has chosen to join the Denton and Reddish Labour Party at a time when the Liberal Democrats, who run Stockport council, have just received the strong backing of many local people with the Lib Dems topping the poll in the European Elections across Stockport.”
I know nothing of the local or personal circumstances – though I do know enough about defections to know there’s normally more than meets the eye or makes it into the press release – but it strikes me that your party not putting forward a candidate in a by-election must be one of the oddest reasons on record for deciding to defect to an opposing party.