The Tories in Bournemouth: High-flying Tory leaves 'dying party' for Labour

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A PROMINENT Tory stalwart yesterday declared the party was 'dying' and announced she was quitting to join Labour.

Joyce Sampson is on the approved list of Conservative Party candidates for both Westminster and Europe, but has never been selected to fight a seat. She had hit a 'glass ceiling' because she was black and female, she told a Westminster news conference.

Miss Sampson, a civil servant for 14 years, has been in such Tory organisations as the Bow and Tory Reform Groups. A member of Ilford South Conservative Association executive committee, she has also spoken at the Tory conference.

With Labour's deputy leader, John Prescott, alongside her, she said of the Conservatives: 'It's a party that I feel is dying and I remember the words of Tony Blair when he said any party which refuses to change, dies.' Attacking the Tories for 'refusing to discuss race', she said: 'I think I had hit what is commonly called a glass ceiling in the party, where I had come up against a lack of progress which probably was because of my gender or race, or both.'