Hinckley & Bosworth Conservative Deputy Group Leader and Borough Councillor for Burbage Sketchley & Stretton Ward has left the Conservatives and joined the Liberal Democrat Group.
In his letter to Conservative officials John states:
"After considerable thought I have made the decision to resign my membership of the Conservative Party. This has not come easy as I have supported the Party since my youth, firstly in the role of a committed Conservative voter, later as an active Conservative Trade Unionist and in more recent times as a Parish Councillor, County Councillor and currently as a Borough Councillor.
"Over the last 12 or more months I have found it increasingly difficult to recognise, on a national basis, the Party I have supported for the last 50 years. I have, at times, given voice to these doubts and concerns but will also be aware that I had managed to separate in my mind the National and local situation. However recent changes within the Conservative Group mean, that on reflection, our direction of travel is not one that I can with good conscience support or follow.
"Therefore I have concluded that the option I favour is to seek membership of another Party. I find that I share with Liberal Democrat Party their views on the major issue facing our nation - the need to eliminate the deficit inherited from Labour, but that this needs to be a controlled elimination, with the burden being fairly spread across the sectors of society, recognising that there will be significant numbers requiring support.
"On a local basis I find that I have growing sympathy with the Lib Dem objectives for our Borough.
These include a positive view regarding the regeneration of the Bus Station site, based on its value to the community - rather than a hope for failure based on the perception that this would bring political advantage and a recognition that it is necessary to build relationships with officers based on mutual trust and respect (yes I accept that there will sometimes be differences of opinion and political direction) in order to deliver the things that really matter to the residents of Hinckley and Bosworth.
"I have therefore, made a formal application for membership of the Liberal Democrat Group and this has been accepted."
Lib Dem Council Leader Stuart Bray says, "We are delighted to welcome John to the Lib Dem Group. I have worked with him over the past 6 years on Burbage Parish Council and latterly the Borough Council and have always found him a man of great integrity who cares passionately about Burbage and the area as a whole. John is a great asset to our group on the Borough and Parish Councils."
This means the political make-up of the Borough Council now stands at 19 Liberal Democrats, 14 Conservatives (including Chris Boothby who is currently suspended) and 1 Labour.