Ex-Conservative MP Antoinette Sandbach has joined the Liberal Democrats ahead of the December 12 election, handing the party its 20th seat in Parliament.
She was one of 21 Conservative rebels who lost the party whip after they rebelled against the government in September.
Ms Sandbach will contest her Cheshire seat of Eddisbury as the Liberal Democrat candidate, and said the election will be “the most important in my lifetime”.
She told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer she firmly believes Britain should remain in the EU and wanted to “stand for a party that reflects those values”.
“People have learnt so much more about what some of the consequences are as a result of Brexit and quite a few of my constituents have changed their minds,” she said.
“I accept that if the Liberal Democrats are not the majority party in the House of Commons then the likelihood is there will be a confirmatory referendum and I think that’s right three years after the event.”
Eddisbury voted in favour of leaving 52.17 per cent to 47.83 per cent, and Ms Sandbach held the seat with 56.9 per cent of the vote in 2017.
At the most recent general election the Liberal Democrat candidate garnered only 5.5 per cent of the vote, however the party saw a better result at the European elections earlier this year.
Party leader Jo Swinson said Ms Sandbach was a “passionate campaigner” who will be a “fantastic candidate” in the snap poll.
“Her defection clearly shows that the Liberal Democrats are the strongest party of Remain and attracting support from right across the political spectrum,” she said.
“Antoinette is one of the millions of people who are tired of the two old parties, led by people who will take our country backwards, not forwards.”
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