Lib Dem councillor defects to the Brexit Party six months after joining from Labour
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
A Lib Dem councillor has defected to the Brexit Party, claiming that their pro-Remain stance goes against her beliefs, despite only joining six months ago.
Rochdale councillor Kathleen Nickson joined the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats from Labour in January 2019, and her defection was celebrated by voices within the party.
She said she was joining the Lib Dems because they "work in the best interest of the people of Rochdale".
Citing allegations of bullying she said she could not go on working in an "undemocratic manner".
"There is no room to have a difference of opinion in the Labour group. I will not simply be told what to do, what to say and how to vote. I want to do the best for the residents in my ward and I simply do not believe that Labour allow me to do that. I will be joining a team of hard-working Lib Dem councillors who work in the best interest of the people of Rochdale."
You may also want to watch:
She said with the Lib Dems she "will be able to work with integrity and where I will be valued as hard-working female councillor."
But six months later she is on the move again, claiming that pro-Remain stance goes against her values, so instead has joined the Brexit Party.
- 1 Nigel Farage loses nearly 50,000 followers after Twitter suspends QAnon accounts
- 2 Tory minister admits UK rejected EU's music visa offer in order to 'take back control' of borders
- 3 Former Brexit Party MEP dies in diving accident in the Bahamas
- 4 Bob Geldof takes swipe at No 10 saying 'lying is second nature' to them
- 5 Progressive alliance could see Labour win 351 seats at next election, new analysis reveals
- 6 The greatest failure of government in our lifetime
- 7 Boris Johnson blames seafood companies for post-Brexit sales slump
- 8 Jacob Rees-Mogg says it's 'all the EU's fault' musicians can't tour Europe
- 9 Priti Patel fails to appear in Commons to answer questions on missing police records
- 10 The bigot we should have called out on day one
But she also insisted a no-deal Brexit, the party's only policy, would be "catastrophic for jobs".
She told the Manchester Evening News: "The national Lib Dem policy of remaining in the European Union is against what I believe in.
"Three years ago we voted, as a country to leave the EU.
"This democratic decision - having been made - has not been honoured by the Tory government and we are now, I believe, facing either a no deal Brexit or not leaving at all.
"The first will be catastrophic for jobs, the second catastrophic for democracy."
She continued: "The number of people in this borough who turn out at elections is very low. If we can leave Europe and honour the result of the referendum, I can look my constituents in the eye.
"They voted to leave and I am representing them in their decision."
Andy Kelly, Lib Dem group leader on Rochdale's council, said: "It sounds like Coun Nixon is a little bit lost politically. She clearly had issues with Labour in Rochdale and a few issues with Lib Dem party politics. If she has found her political home, then I wish her all the best."
Nickson won 52% of the vote in the local elections in May 2018.
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.