Chairman of Rochdale Conservatives switches to Labour

Date published: 01 March 2013

Rochdale Labour Party has increased its majority on the Council following the defection of the chairman of Rochdale Conservative Association, Councillor Shah Wazir. The Milkstone and Deeplish Councillor left the Conservatives to join Labour citing the Government’s “disastrous economic policies” as his main reason.

Thanking Rochdale Conservative group leader Councillor Ashley Dearnley for his support during his time as a Conservative, Councillor Wazir said in his resignation letter that his decision to join the Conservatives had been “a mistake”.

“For a long time now I have been uncomfortable with the general direction of travel by the Conservative Party,” he said. “It is places like Rochdale that are bearing the brunt of David Cameron and George Osborne’s disastrous policies, as living standards are plummeting and our town is getting poorer. I cannot be a member of a party that seems happy to completely write off proud Lancashire towns like Rochdale and pull away the ladder of opportunity for thousands.”

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk welcomed his decision and said he wanted to see more talented community campaigners join the party.

“Shah is an intelligent chap that fights for the people he represents and I think he’ll be an asset to the Labour party,” he said. “He clearly realises he made a terrible mistake in joining the Tories and wants to prove himself as a Labour councillor.”

The chairman of Rochdale Labour Party, Councillor Allen Brett added: “We have had Lib Dem councillors defect to us and now Conservative councillors. This shows that a One Nation Labour Party is reaching out to all corners of Rochdale and is determined to represent everyone.”

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