Manchester

Tameside Conservative councillor defects to Labour

A Conservative on Tameside Council has defected to its ruling Labour group.

Councillor Dorothy Cartwright , who represents Dukinfield and Stalybridge, claimed she was fed up of "back-biting" among the Tories.

The Labour leader Keiran Quinn said her defection was due to difficulties with the Conservative party locally but also the impact of cuts on Tameside.

But John Bell, the leader of the council's Conservative group, said: "They are welcome to her."

The councillor's defection increases the Labour numbers to 47 and reduces the Tories to eight.

Tameside Council is facing £100m cuts over the next four years.

In a statement about the defection, Mrs Cartwright said she had been "stifled" by the "back-biting" by her Conservative colleagues.

She added: "There is a lot going on at the moment especially considering the impact in Tameside of the recent council settlement and I feel that the best way I can continue to represent the people of Stalybridge and Dukinfield is to join the Tameside Labour group."

Mr Quinn said: "She had been having troubles with the Conservative group for some while but the impression is that one of the things that has tipped the decision is some of the decisions that are having to be made by the council."

Mr Bell said the defecting councillor had been due to face an internal disciplinary hearing from the local Conservative Party.

"She jumped before she was pushed," he added.

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