Ian Dale is reporting that 5 out of the 15 Labour councillors in Southall have defected to the Conservatives.
They are, in alphabetical order, Cllr Jagdish Gupta, Cllr Jarnail Singh Jandu, Cllr Maninder Kaur Keith, Cllr Gurcharan Singh and Cllr Manjit Singh. It looks as if Gurcharan Singh, who was at one time reckoned to be the leading male contender to be the Labour candidate in the Ealing Southall by-election, has managed to persuade his two colleagues in Lady Margaret ward and two in neighbouring Southall Broadway to go with him as he exited the party in high dudgeon.
This is their statement:
It has become increasingly obvious as this by-election campaign has progressed, that the Conservative candidate Tony Lit is the best person to represent Ealing Southall as our next MP. He’s energetic, dynamic and displays the kind of qualities that would make him ideally suited to represent the people of Ealing Southall. We wanted to provide him with our backing and joining the Conservative Party sends the clearest possible message.
Locally since Conservatives took control of Ealing Council in May 2006 we have noticed that they have been making great strides towards trying to improve the quality of life for all our residents. We’ve finally reached the stage where it has become blatantly obvious that we would be doing own voters a great disservice if we continue to dogmatically stick with a disorganised and divided Labour Party. Our goal is to see genuine improvements for our residents. We believe that the Conservative Party now provides our community with greater opportunities and is genuinely interested in improving services for all.
At a national level we are extremely impressed by David Cameron’s modern Conservatives and, with the changes that he has now made, we feel that the Conservative Party now best represents our views. In a sense we believe the
Conservatives have become our natural home and we are very excited about the opportunity to play a full part in a Party which we believe is destined to form the next government.
We are due to have a Conservative Group meeting tonight so it will no doubt be an interesting evening.