Former Tory minister gives vote to Labour

Second ex-West End councillor turns

Friday, 6th May — By Tom Foot

nick boles policy exchange flickr wik comm

Nick Boles as a minister in 2013 addressing a Policy Exchange event. Wikimedia commons/Flickr/Policy Exchange

A FORMER Westminster councillor and top Conservative minister voted Labour yesterday (Thursday) saying that it was the first time he had done so since Tony Blair came to power.

Nick Boles was a minister under David Cameron and was Boris Johnson’s chief of staff when he was Mayor of London.

But Sir Keir Starmer has created a Labour Party which many Tories now feel comfortable supporting.

Mr Boles said: “First time I’ve voted Labour since an equally glorious May morning in 1997.”

He is the second former Conservative West End ward councillor to back Labour candidates in this week’s elections.

Glenys Roberts – a veteran of Westminster City Hall, who served for 20 years as a Conservative councillor – endorsed West End Labour candidates Paul Fisher, Patrick Lilley and Jessica Toale.

Ms Roberts said: “For the past four years West End residents have been emailing me for help, having had little satisfaction from their elected Tory councillors. I have been very happy to work with [councillor] Pancho Lewis who has taken a genuine interest in their quality of life. The West End deserves nothing but the best.”

Mr Boles resigned from the Tory party in disgust in 2019 over the party’s “refusal to compromise” over Brexit.

Resigning in the House of Commons, he said: “I have given everything to an attempt to find a compromise that can take this country out of the European Union while maintaining our economic strength and our political cohesion.”

Candidates were last night pounding the streets in a final push to get the vote out before tonight’s count. The Conservatives were quietly confident of a clean sweep in the West End ward.

Candidate Julie Redmond hit the streets with council leader Rachael Robathan, Nickie Aiken MP for Cities of London and Westminster and Alicia Kearns the MP for Rutland and Melton.

• Results are expected in the early hours today (Friday) and will appear in next week’s Extra.

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