Conservative politician and former government adviser defects to Lib Dems over May's Brexit strategy

'I now find it impossible to be a member of the Conservative party,' says Christine Elmer

Chris Baynes
Tuesday 25 April 2017 12:26
comments
Councillor Christine Elmer, who is defecting from the Tories to the Lib Dems
Councillor Christine Elmer, who is defecting from the Tories to the Lib Dems

A Tory politician and former senior Government adviser has defected from the party over Theresa May’s Brexit strategy.

Surrey councillor Christine Elmer said she found it “impossible to be a member of the Conservative party” and had joined the the Lib Dems so she could campaign against “hard Brexit”.

The pro-Remain politician, who has sat on Elmbridge Borough Council since 2006, added that the Prime Minister calling a general election had fuelled her discontent within the Tory ranks.

She said: "I have been unhappy for some time with the political direction of the Conservative party.

“In recent days this situation had escalated by a series of events, including the announcement by the Prime Minister of a general election about the handling of the terms of the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union.

“As a fervent Remainer I find I can no longer support the Government's line on this, nor that of the current MP Dominic Raab.

"I now find it impossible to be a member of the Conservative party and have therefore decided to join the Liberal Democrat party.”

Elmbridge bucked the national trend in last year’s referendum, with 59.5 per cent of voters wanting to remain in the EU.

Conservative Mr Raab, whose Esher and Walton constituency includes most of Elmbridge, campaigned for Vote Leave.

Councillor Elmer, a senior policy adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs between 2001 and 2007, tweeted a link to the Lib Dems' membership sign-up page as she announced her defection on Monday night.

The party’s leader, Tim Farron, pledged to give voters the chance to reverse Brexit in a second referendum.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments