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Tory MPs Deny Rumours They Are Planning To Defect To Labour


2 min read

Conservative MPs are coming forward to deny they are going to defect to Labour, as questions surrounding Boris Johnson’s leadership continue in the fallout of last week’s by-elections.

Labour party insiders have reportedly told The Sunday Times and The Mirror that at least half a dozen Tory MPs are considering switching to the Labour Party, after the Tories' disastrous double by-election defeats prompted party chairman Oliver Dowden to resign last week.

But Conservative MPs Dehenna Davison and Caroline Nokes have publicly quashed rumours that they are among these six individuals. There was speculation that Davison could defect after former Tory MP Christian Wakeford crossed the floor of the Commons to join Labour in January. 

Davison, MP for the ‘red-wall’ seat Bishop Auckland, said: “For the avoidance of doubt – again – I’m not bloody defecting. 

“To those anonymous colleagues spreading such rumours, my door is always open for a chat.”

Since her election in 2019, Davison has become widely viewed by colleagues as an up-and-coming star of the Conservative Party.

She has voted against the government multiple times, including against introducing Covid passes, and openly voted against Johnson in this month’s vote of no confidence. 

The MP already told reporters earlier this year that rumours of her defecting were “complete bullsh*t”.

In response to Davison’s statement, Nokes, MP for Romsey and Southampton North, added: ​”Me neither – just to pop that on the record.”

Nokes has been a vocal critic of the Prime Minister, telling BBC Panorama in May: “The Prime Minister has let down my constituents and I have been 100 per cent consistent with that view.”

She was one of the first MPs to openly submit a letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister to the 1922 Committee.

This morning, Environment Secretary George Eustice dismissed the rumours of MPs defecting as "tittle-tattle", but did not rule out the possibility entirely. 

"It's often the case with defections that you don't really know about it until it happens," he told LBC.

Any defecting Conservative MPs would be following in the footsteps of Bury South MP Christian Wakeford, who in January became the first Tory to join Labour ranks since 2007 after blaming the Prime Minister's "disgraceful" conduct for his decision.

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