Tory MP Natalie Elphicke defects to Labour Party | Politics News

Conservative MP Natalie Elphicke has defected to the Labour Party.

The Dover MP said the change in the Tory Party since she entered parliament in 2019 “has been dramatic and cannot be ignored”.

She hit out at the “broken promises of Rishi Sunak’s tired and chaotic government”, adding that Labour “looks to the future – to building a Britain of hope, optimism, opportunity and fairness”.

Mrs Elphicke is the second Tory MP to move to the Labour Party in 11 days after former minister Dan Poulter defected to the opposition.

Part-time NHS doctor Dr Poulter said he could no longer look his NHS colleagues and patients in the eye and remain a Conservative.

Mrs Elphicke “crossed the floor” to the Labour benches moments before Prime Minister’s Questions started on Wednesday at midday, with Tory MPs seen pointing at her.

She previously announced she will not be standing in the next general election.

Sir Keir welcomed her to the party in his opening remarks at PMQs.

In a statement announcing her decision, she said the key deciding factors for switching have been “housing and the safety and security of our borders”.

She said the Conservative Party in 2019 “occupied the centre ground of British politics” and was about “building the future and making the most of the opportunities that lay ahead for our country”.

“Since then, many things have changed,” she added.

“The elected prime minister was ousted in a coup led by the unelected Rishi Sunak.

“Under Rishi Sunak, the Conservatives have become a byword for incompetence and division.

“The centre ground has been abandoned and key pledges of the 2019 manifesto have been ditched.”

She said the Labour Party has also “changed out of all recognition” since then, moving on from Jeremy Corbyn and “under Keir Starmer, occupies the centre ground of British politics”.

“It has accepted Brexit and its economic policies and defence policies are responsible and can be trusted,” she said.

Mrs Elphicke has previously been highly critical of Sir Keir, hitting out at him for “ignoring the small boats crisis” in January 2023.

In April last year she wrote an article saying voters should not trust Labour on immigration – one of the key factors she said she was defecting for.

The arrival of asylum seekers in small boats is a major issue in her constituency, with most stepping onto British soil in Dover.

Mrs Elphicke won her seat with 56.9% of the vote after deciding to stand in Dover following her now ex-husband, Charlie Elphicke, being suspended from the Conservative Party and not standing for re-election when he was charged with three counts of sexual assault against two women.

He was found guilty of all counts and sentenced to two years in prison.

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