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Christian Wakeford: who is Bury MP, why has he defected to the Labour Party - and what is his voting record?

Bury South MP Christian Wakeford has defected from the Conservative party to Labour

A Conservative MP has criticised Boris Johnson’s leadership over the Downing Street parties scandal as he announced that he was defecting to Labour.

Bury South MP Christian Wakeford was cheered by Labour MPs as he arrived in the Commons ahead of Prime Minister’s Questions and took his seat on the Opposition benches.

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In a statement, Mr Wakeford told the Prime Minister that “you and the Conservative Party as a whole have shown themselves incapable of offering the leadership and government this country deserves”.

Here we take a look at why the MP has joined Labour, who he is and what was said about the defection.

Why did Christian Wakeford defect to Labour?

Mr Wakeford said: “I care passionately about the people of Bury South and I have concluded that the policies of the Conservative government that you lead are doing nothing to help the people of my 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 you and the Conservative Party as a whole have shown themselves incapable of offering the leadership and government this country deserves.”

Who is Christian Wakeford?

A view of Bury South MP Christian Wakeford sitting on the opposition benches during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons, London. (Picture: PA)

Mr Wakeford won Bury South - which had been a Labour seat since 1997 - in the 2019 election.

He was one of seven Tory MPs to publicly call for Mr Johnson to quit and announced his decision to defect in the Bury Times

He was educated at Lancaster University and also studied at the Open University - and earned degrees in Politics and Chemistry.

Mr Wakeford worked in the communication and insurance sectors before entering parliament in 2019. He was also the leader of the Conservative Group on Pendle Borough Council and a Lancashire County Councillor.

He is married to Alexandra and has one young daughter.

What did Labour say about the defection?

Sir Keir Starmer welcomed the defection of Christian Wakeford to the Labour Party.

The Labour leader said in a statement: “I would like to welcome Christian Wakeford to the Labour Party. He has always put the people of Bury South first.

“As Christian said, the policies of the Conservative government are doing nothing to help the people of Bury South and, indeed, are only making the struggles they face on a daily basis worse.

“I’m determined to build a new Britain which guarantees security, prosperity and respect for all, and I’m delighted that Christian has decided to join us in this endeavour.”

He added: “The policies of the Conservative government are doing nothing to help the people of Bury South and indeed are only making the struggles they face on a daily basis worse.”

What is Christian Wakeford’s voting record?

Since coming into parliament in 2019, the MP has voted on several occasions for a stricter asylum system.

He voted to remove rights for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, spouses, vulnerable adults and dependent adults to join a family member who is legally in the UK, according to TheyWorkForYou.

Mr Wakeford has also voted against having fewer MPs in the House of Commons and for capping civil service redundancy pay.

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