I have news of three more Lib Dem councillors defecting to Labour.
Cllr Arif Khan in Burnley has jumped ship. He says he is "disillusioned" with the Lib Dems locally as well as with the coalition Government nationally. He complains of "savage cuts." But that was just the phrase used by his then Party leader a year ago to describe what Britain needed. Anyway, it is really "savage" to cut spending down to 41% of GDP back to levels of 2009, or at most "savage" 2006.
As is so often the case with these defections there is dispute between whether it is for political or personal motives.
Cllr Darren Reynold of the Lib Dems says:
"We had complaint after complaint from local residents that they never saw Cllr Khan and had no idea what he was doing. We pushed him and pushed him. Ultimately, our pressure was just too much and he has defected to Labour. Good luck to them.”
The other two defections are on Doncaster Council. Cllr Paul Bissett and Sue Phillips have switched from Lib Dem to Labour. The is Red Ed's backyard – he is the Labour MP for Doncaster North.
I'm not sure he will want to make too much of it though. Reminding everyone about Doncaster Labour councillors would probably not be helpful to his cause. The Donnygate affair saw 21 Labour councillors convicted of fraud. Last year another report described the behaviour of some of the Labour councillors as "venomous, vicious, and vindictive."
The exasperated people of Doncaster elected an English Democrat Mayor, Peter Davies, but there is the dysfunctional arrangement that he is thwarted from implementing his policies, such as Council Tax cuts, by the Labour councillors. If we are going to have more elected mayors there needs to be a mechanism to avoid that sort of mess.