Today, a Lib Dem councillor on Manchester City Council joins the Conservatives. This gives us representation for the first time since 1996. Cllr. Faraz Bhatti, who also stood as the Liberal Democrat PPC for Stretford & Urmston in 2005, will be a councillor until 2011. Said Cllr. Bhatti:
“David Cameron has brought the Conservative Party back to the centre ground of British politics. Like me, he believes in spreading opportunity and giving people a real say over their own lives. Across the country, only the Conservatives can be the change that Britain needs. Here, in Manchester, people are crying out for change. The ‘Punch and Judy’ politics of the current parties is not in the best interests of this city. Manchester needs a real opposition to question the decisions of the Labour Council. The Liberal Democrats have, I’m afraid, become inward looking and too protective of their own positions in the Town Hall.”
There's not a single mention on Lib Dem Voice - the website that frequently inform us of parish councillors 'defecting' to them. Fancy!
And Guido reports that a £millionaire, who gave the party over £400,000, bought, sorry was elevated to the Lords by people who claimed a.) not to know him and b.) how much he gave to party coffers. Both claims are totally untrue. Will, as Guido asks, Chris Huhne be contacting "Yates of the Yard" to investigate this possible ‘Cash for Peerages’ scandal? Again, nothing on Lib Dem Voice...
Meanwhile, local Lib Dems in Haringey are furious that their MP was sacked from their self-styled "shadow cabinet" by Nick Clegg for running Chris Huhne's campaign. One told Hunter a number of local Lib Dem members - known as Featherstonites - viewed their new leader action as being "nasty, petty, spiteful and vindictive".
It couldn't happen to a nicer party. Happy New Year!