UK Politics

Ex-Lib Dem peer Baroness Manzoor joins Tory party

Baroness Manzoor Image copyright Lib Dems

A peer has joined the Conservative Party after resigning the Liberal Democrat whip last month.

Zahida Manzoor quit over the Liberal Democrats' policies on Europe and praised what she said was Prime Minister Theresa May's clear leadership on Brexit.

She is the second former Lib Dem peer to switch to the Tories, after Lady Nicholson re-joined the party.

Baroness Manzoor said the Tory party was now her "natural home".

She also said leaving the Lib Dems, for whom she had been a member of the House of Lords for three years, was "tough but... the right thing to do".

'Britain's new journey'

Baroness Manzoor, who had been the Lib Dem spokeswoman on work and pensions, added: "I could not support the leadership of a party that calls itself democratic and then refuses to acknowledge the will of the people in a referendum."

She was referring to Lib Dem leader Tim Farron's call for a second referendum on the terms of any Brexit deal.

Baroness Manzoor said: "Theresa May's vision of a Britain that works for everyone, and her clear leadership over Brexit, now make the Conservatives a natural home for me and millions of people like me, from all communities across the UK.

"As Britain embarks on a new journey, outside the EU but reaching out to trade with the world, and as we really begin addressing the problems of social mobility at home, I look forward to helping play my part as a Conservative."

Asked about the news on the BBC's Sunday Politics, Mr Farron said the Lib Dems had increased party membership by 20,000 in recent months - which he claimed included many Conservative members.

He added that he "respected" Baroness Manzoor's decision, but added: "I'm always sad to lose people but I'm overjoyed to have gained 20,000 times more people than I have lost."

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