Sarah Wollaston joins Liberal Democrats to fight Brexit

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Former Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston has joined the Liberal Democrats, saying it is the "best way" for her to fight to remain in the EU.

Dr Wollaston left the Tories in February over the party’s “disasterous handling of Brexit” and joined a host defecting MPs in what was then known as the Independent Group.

The Independent Group later became Change UK and more recently changed its name again to the Independent Group for Change.

The Totnes MP quit the new party in June after its disappointing performance in the European Parliament elections.

She has now become the latest politician to join the Remain-supporting Lib Dems, following Chuka Umunna's similar pathway from Labour.

Dr Wollaston said: "I believe the best way for me to represent my constituents in Totnes is to be working as part of a fantastic team of Liberal Democrat MPs who are unequivocally making the case for us to remain at the heart of Europe, as well as campaigning for social justice, the environment and our public services."

When pushed by talkRADIO's Julia Hartley-Brewer on whether she would now hold a by-election in her constituency, the Lib Dem MP said she would push for a general election but standing down in the midst of Brexit would not be helpful.

"Of course the people of Totnes need to have a say but doing it in the period of a constitutional crisis they would lose their voice altogether," she said.

The Lib Dems now has a total of 14 members sitting in Parliament.

Party leader Jo Swinson, who has vowed the “lead the fight to stop Brexit”, said she was “delighted” to welcome Dr Wollaston.

“We have worked together for many months to fight to stop Brexit and, as one of the most respected Members of Parliament, she brings real expertise to our team," she added.

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