Andrew Cregan, Councillor for Island Gardens ward in Tower Hamlets, has today defected to the Liberal Democrats over Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s support for Brexit. This means Labour lose control of the Council, and it moves to no overall control.
Andrew said: “After much soul searching, I have resigned my membership of the Labour Party in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, where I have served as the Chairman of the Labour Group of Councillors.
I joined the Labour Party as a teenager because I believed in its core values. At the time it was an unambiguously pro-European party, but today that is no longer the case.
I believe that Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership has taken the Labour Party backwards in many ways, and he has failed to put forward the overwhelming case for remaining in the European Union, both during the referendum campaign and ever since. In doing so he has let down all the people of Britain.
I will have no part of a political party that is acquiescent in taking our country out of the European Union and the Single Market, breaking links with our friends, allies and closest trading partners.
I have today joined the Liberal Democrats as a party that is dedicated to keeping the UK open, tolerant and united. And remains unambiguously pro-European.”
Parliamentary Spokesperson for Poplar & Limehouse, Elaine Bagshaw said: "I'm delighted to welcome Andrew to the Liberal Democrats today. Brexit is one of the biggest threats to the UK there has been in our lifetime, yet Jeremy Corbyn and Labour have forgotten what it means to be an opposition. They are skipping hand in hand off the edge of the Brexit cliff with Theresa May and the Tories.
Tower Hamlets is home to Canary Wharf and a growing technology industry. All of that is under threat from Brexit. Thousands of jobs will be lost if financial services firms have to leave, and a borough that already has nearly 50% of its children growing up in poverty will only see that get worse. Corbyn and the Labour party are being totally complicit in the damage Brexit will wreak on our local area.
I encourage any members of the Labour party who really care about us being open, tolerant and united as a country to join the Liberal Democrats today."