Update: Here is Cllr Linda Pailing being welcomed int the Tory fold by Harlow Council leader, Andrew Johnson, shadow business minister, Mark Prisk MP and Conservaitve candidate for Harlow, Robert Halfon.
The ruling Conservatives on Harlow Council in Essex have been bolstered by the defection of Linda Pailing, who was elected as a Liberal Democrat in 2006. She has sat as an Independent for the last few months, but has this morning joined the Conservative Party.
Cllr Pailing, a former chairman of Scrutiny, explained:
monitored and adjusted during this past very difficult financial year
for all of us. The Conservatives made some very difficult decisions
but they have stood by them and stuck to their guns and they have been
proved right. Andrew Johnson is building a very strong team and I want
to be a part of that team, working with him and his colleagues towards
making Harlow a better place to live and work."
She also put her decision in the national context:
Council leader Andrew Johnson is delighted with his new recruit:
fine addition to the team running Harlow. Linda knows that, given the
mess the administration inherited we have had to take some very
difficult decisions, and is ready to support us in doing that, to make
Harlow a better place.
Meanwhile Robert Halfon, the Conservative candidate for ultra-marginal Harlow at the general election, gave Cllr Pailing a very warm welcome: