South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen joins Liberal Democrats
Heidi Allen has joined the Liberal Democrats.
The South Cambridgeshire MP will stand in the constituency for the party at the next general election.
Ms Allen left the Conservatives in February to join a growing band of independent MPs in Parliament. She became interim leader of the new band of independents, Change UK - The Independent Group.
Announcing today (Monday October 7) that she had joined the Liberal Democrats, she said: “Confident that good progress has now been made on building a remain alliance through the Unite to Remain initiative, I recognise that, as with most things in life, I am stronger and more effective when I am part of a team.
“Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I know that the best way to serve my constituents and country, is to join the Liberal Democrats.
“Now is the time to stand shoulder to shoulder with, not just alongside, those I have collaborated with and found shared values with.
“Shifting to the extremes, the Conservatives and Labour have turned their backs on the liberal, progressive centre ground our country is crying out for.
“As we face the monumental task ahead of stopping a damaging Brexit, healing the rifts in society and rebuilding the UK, there is only one party with the honesty, energy and vision to do that and that is the Liberal Democrats, under the leadership of Jo Swinson.
“My constituency is liberal and inclusive, bursting with innovation - I am so proud to represent it as its member of Parliament. I have been bowled over by the support I have received from every corner of it.
“My constituents know we are stronger in Europe and they demand better for their country. They know that although there is a terrifying amount of work ahead of us, together, we can build a fairer and more compassionate future for everyone.”
Ms Allen is the seventh MP to join the party in 2019.
Her decision represents a disappointment for Ian Sollom, who had already been announced as the party’s candidate for South Cambridgeshire.
Mr Sollom tweeted that he was “hugely personally disappointed” not to be able to stand for the party in the constituency, but “genuinely delighted” to welcome Ms Allen to the party.
South Cambridgeshire District Council's Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Bridget Smith tweeted: “Ian Sollom has conducted himself with huge dignity and has put the interests of SCambs and this country before his own. How many Tory and Labour MPs could learn a lesson or two from him?”
The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Jo Swinson, said: “I am delighted to welcome Heidi Allen to the Liberal Democrats.
“She has long been an ally in the fight to stop Brexit, and having worked with her, I know the energy and passion she will bring to our party.
“This once again proves that the Liberal Democrats are the strongest party of remain.
“The best deal we have is as members of the European Union, and I look forward to working with Heidi in order to stop Brexit.”
South Cambridgeshire District Council was won by the Liberal Democrats from the Tories in 2018.
More by this authorPaul Brackley