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Local paper scoops nationals to land Christian Wakeford defection exclusive

A local newspaper scooped the nationals to reveal MP Christian Wakeford’s defection from the Tories to Labour.

The Bury Times landed the exclusive on the move by the MP for Bury South amid growing calls for the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Reporter Ted Stirzaker broke the news on paper’s website minutes ahead of a crunch session of Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, with the story also appearing on the paper’s front page this morning.

Mr Wakeford revealed in a letter to David Nuttall, chairman of Bury South Conservatives, that he was tendering his resignation from the party and applying to join Labour.


The MP, first elected in 2019, said he had “reached the conclusion that the best interests of my constituents are served by the programme put forward by Keir Starmer and his party”.

He added his decision was about “much more than the leadership of Boris Johnson and the disgraceful way he has conducted himself in recent weeks”.

Speaking to HTFP, Times editor Richard Duggan said: “This huge story is a brilliant example of the importance of local journalism and I am delighted we were able to break the exclusive.

“It’s more important than ever before to support local journalism so I would encourage everyone to go and buy a newspaper and to read the excellent content on their local news websites.”

In his letter, Mr Wakeford wrote:  “I care passionately about the people of Bury South and I have concluded that the policies of the Conservative government led by Boris Johnson are doing nothing to help the people of the constituency and indeed are only making the struggles they face on a daily basis worse.

“Britain needs a government focused on tackling the cost of living crisis and providing a path out of the pandemic that protects living standards and defends the security of all.

“It needs a government that upholds the highest standards of integrity and probity in public life and sadly both the Prime Minister and the Conservative Party as a whole have shown themselves incapable of offering the leadership and government this country deserves.

“Being elected as MP for Bury South was the proudest day of my life. I care passionately about the area and will always be grateful to those who have supported me. Today, however, I am in no doubt that they will be better served by my joining a party that genuinely has their interests at heart.”