Former Labour MP Bob Marshall-Andrews defects to the Liberal Democrats

The former Medway MP accused Labour of 'crass political ineptitude'

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Indy Politics

A former Labour MP has defected to the Liberal Democrats, accusing Jeremy Corbyn’s party of “crass political ineptitude”.

Bob Marshall-Andrews, who was MP for Medway from 1997 to 2010, said he was disappointed that Labour had not made a “common strategy” with the liberals to take on the Conservatives.

“At present there is manifestly a huge vacuum on the centre-left represented in substantial part by the 48 per cent of the electorate who rejected Brexit and the lies on which it was based,” Mr Marshall-Andrews told the The Times newspaper.

“To many, including me, there was a forlorn hope that a reformed and radical Labour party would rise to historic occasion. It has not and shows no real sign of doing so.”

The former MP cited Labour’s refusal to stand down at the Richmond Park by-election in order to give the Liberal Democrats the best chance of defeating the Conservatives.

While Mr Marshall-Andrews was an MP he sat in the left-wing Socialist Campaign Group with Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said the former MP was “coming over to the only party that is offering a credible opposition to a divisive Tory Brexit government”. 

Labour MP Lucy Powell however downplayed the defection, describing it as “hardly a massive story”.

A number of sitting Labour MPs have said they will not stand in the coming June 8 election.

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