Former Tory MP Sir Cyril Townsend, who represented Bexleyheath from 1974 to 1997, secretly joined the Liberal Democrats last year.  His move only became public today when he announced is support for Sir Ming Campbell’s leadership bid.

Sir Cyril used his endorsement to criticise David Cameron’s consistency:

"David Cameron was the author of Michael Howard’s illiberal manifesto just last May. If he believed what he wrote then, how can he believe what he says now?  And since he voted for the US invasion of Iraq, and has been continually Eurosceptic, what right has he to our respect for his international intentions?

I am supporting Ming Campbell’s campaign to lead the Liberal Democrats – who I joined last year – because I admire his consistency and integrity, and I believe his distinct radical liberalism would be a breath of fresh air in British politics."