The Daventry Express reports news of a defection on Daventry District Council. Cllr David James, of Abbey North Ward, has switched from Labour to the Conservatives.
Cllr James said:
“I haven’t been happy with the Labour Party nationally since the general election. I believe the current leadership of the party and course it has embarked upon is somewhere I don’t want to go and I don’t believe it will be good for the country.”
“I am a Euro-sceptic and I believe there are only two parties that offer the UK a say on Europe and it boils down to who has the most realistic chance.”
The Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Wendy Randall, said:
“David voted against the motions we put forward for the bedroom tax and the living wage. Therefore he would not have been selected as a Labour candidate again.”
34% of Labour voters support cuts to the spare room subsidy. (49% of voters generally support it with 38% against.) Labour denounces it in the most extravagant terms – but won't say if they would reverse it.
The objection that those with spare rooms have nowhere else to move to is fatuous. On Saturday morning I was canvassing on the main council estate in my ward. I spoke to a woman in overcrowded conditions. She said she would be very happy to swap with someone in a bigger flat, with a spare room, who wished to avoid being hit by the housing benefit cut for under-occupancy. Of course she would. She doesn't want her children sleeping on the sitting room floor.
I suspect that many Labour councillors must have such encounters and privately agree with the 34% of Labour voters who think that the changes are fair. It seems that if they speak publicly they face deselection. Far better to follow the example of Cllr James and join the Conservatives.