Senior Sheffield Lib Dem councillor defects to Labour


A senior Liberal Democrat councillor in Nick Clegg's home city has defected to Labour.



Councillor Clive Skelton, member for Beauchief and Greenhill Ward, resigned from the Lib Dem party with effect from today and joined the Labour Party.



He was a member of the Lib Dem Groups' shadow cabinet and was their chief whip.



In his resignation letter to Lib Dem Group Leader, Cllr Shaffaq Mohammed, Councillor Skelton explained that over the last two or three years the party he joined twenty years ago has lurched so far to the right that he finds it incompatible with his political thinking.



The long-serving councillor for Beauchief and Greenhill Ward now feels Nick Clegg's party does not reflect his political views, and that he can no longer justify why his electors should support Liberal Democrat values.




Councillor Clive Skelton said:



"I have been a member of the Liberal Democrats for 20 years but the party I joined no longer seems to exist. I believe in progressive left-of-centre politics, and so have watched with increasing concern at the party's alarming lurch to the right under Nick Clegg.



"The recent damaging NHS reforms were the last straw for me - I am not prepared to be a cheerleader for David Cameron and his Tory government, so I have decided enough is enough.



"I am proud and excited to be joining a Labour Party which, under Ed Miliband nationally and Julie Dore in Sheffield, has a strong vision for building a better Britain. I will continue to work hard for my constituents in Beauchief and Greenhill."





Sheffield City Council Leader, Councillor Julie Dore said:



"Clive has taken a principled decision to join the Labour Party, which he feels best reflects his political views. He was a member of the Lib Dem Party for 20 years, was their Chief Whip and a Shadow Cabinet Member, so I can understand this will have been a tough decision for him. I wholeheartedly welcome him as a member of our Labour Group.



"His decision makes it crystal clear that the Liberal Democrats are letting people down from top to bottom - Nick Clegg is propping up a Tory government in Westminster and his Lib Dem colleagues in Sheffield are standing up for the wrong people."

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