Picture 12 Cllr Alan Dobbie (centre above), former Mayor of the London Borough of Haringey, has defected to the Conservative Party from Labour.

Cllr Dobbie issued this statement:

“This has been no easy decision, but I believe that urgent change and a fresh start is needed, both for Haringey and Britain. At national level we need a Government that has a sense of purpose—something which Labour seems to have lost in recent years. I am proud of much that Labour has achieved both locally and nationally in the past. But in recent months especially, Labour has shown how out of touch it is. It no longer seems to speak up for the ordinary person, focusing on the wrong issues, making bad judgements—and too busy worrying about what political posts people will hold and how much they will get for it.”

Richard Merrin, Conservative Party Candidate for Hornsey and Wood Green, added

“Alan will continue to serve as a Councillor for Noel Park until next May, putting the needs of Noel Park first as he always has. Local residents, residents associations, community and voluntary groups and local businesses will still have Alan championing their interests. And thousands of Conservative voters in Haringey will now have a voice on the council.”

Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Conservative Party Chairman also commented:

“It is now the turn of other Labour members and supporters in Haringey to take stock—and take positive action by joining the Conservatives as well. We warmly welcome Cllr Dobbie into the Conservative Party in the knowledge that he will bring tremendous insight and experience of local government and his community.”

I'm grateful to Justin Hinchcliffe for keeping me up-to-date with the run up to this defection in recent days.

Tim Montgomerie