Former Tory chair in marginal seat tells voters to back Labour to stop Brexit

Prime minister Boris Johnson. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA.

Prime minister Boris Johnson. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

A former chair of the Conservative Party in a key marginal constituency has urged people to vote Labour to stop Boris Johnson gaining a majority for Brexit.

Dr Jason Aldiss resigned from his post as chair of the Pudsey Conservative Association shortly after Boris Johnson was elected as prime minister in July.

He said that his "blood ran blue" since he joined in 1995, but said his love for his country outweighed his loyalty to the Tories.

At the time of his resignation he wrote: "Unlike some very senior Conservatives who have buried their true feelings in the hope of preferment under prime minister Johnson, I can no longer defend this misguided, dysfunctional, disingenuous obliteration of years of hard work.

"I am left with no option but to resign."

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Now Aldiss is voting tactically for Labour - and is encouraging others to follow suit.

Writing for his local newspaper, The Yorkshire Post, he said: "Johnson, Dominic Cummings and their acolytes are not true Conservatives. (Like me, Cummings is not even a party member). They are insurgents, chancers and double-dealers. They do not act in the national interest. For them, it is about personal advancement and - for some of their number - the misguided pursuit of ideological purity. It will all go horribly wrong."

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He continued: "How could any of these three men be trusted? Are the fawning apologists around Johnson supporting him for anything other than selfish reasons? The flood of decent 'One Nation' Conservative MPs announcing their departures in recent days suggests that all of the straight shooters have gone."

He instead has called for constituents to back the Labour candidate, believing that with an overwhelming vote for pro-Remain parties there would be a strong chance of a second referendum on Brexit.

He added: "Voters must then play their part by supporting that candidate. Tribal loyalties can resume on another occasion. If I can do it, then so can you. And in case anyone asks, no I will not be singing, humming or whistling The Red Flag as I place my cross on the ballot paper."

Tory candidate Stuart Andrew hit back at the comments of his former chair by telling the local newspaper: "Jason doesn't live in the constituency. I know he is very much for Remain but the country made a decision to leave the EU. That's democracy and we have got to deliver it."

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