Portsmouth Lib Dem joins Tories after being sidelined by party

Cllr Sandra Stockdale has left the Lib Dems to join Portsmouth's Tory group
Cllr Sandra Stockdale has left the Lib Dems to join Portsmouth's Tory group
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A LIB DEM councillor has jumped ship to Portsmouth’s Tory group as she ‘didn’t feel wanted’ by her party.

Cllr Sandra Stockdale made the decision today following talks with the Conservatives, taking the group’s number of seats on the city council to 19.

Cllr Stockdale, who has represented St Thomas ward for three years, said she decided to quit the Lib Dems after members chose to de-select her as councillor candidate at next year’s local elections.

She was previously a member of the Conservatives up until 2011, and was a life-long Tory voter.

Speaking to The News ahead of today’s full council meeting Cllr Stockdale said: ‘I had been thinking about it for the last three months.

‘The Lib Dems work hard, as everybody does. I left because I felt I wasn’t wanted. So I moved on.

‘The Lib Dems had the election for the candidates and I wasn’t chosen.

‘They de-selected me, which took away any chance of continuing as a councillor.’

Cllr Donna Jones, Tory council leader, welcomed the move, which brings her group closer to reaching a majority on the council. Twenty-two of the 41 total seats are required for that to happen.

She said: ‘She wasn’t very happy with the way the Lib Dems treated her.

‘I think the Lib Dems are in absolute turmoil.

‘The party is falling apart, both locally and nationally.

‘They are taking extreme action such as to de-select hard-working councillors to try and encourage new blood into the group.’

It comes after former Ukip councillor Steve Hastings quit to join the Tories as the party had promised a referendum on EU membership.