FORMER Tory minister Sam Gymiah has defected to the Liberal Democrats – just days after Boris Johnson booted him out of the Conservative Party.
The ex-Universities and Science minister – who briefly flirted with a leadership bid this summer – was unveiled as a Lib Dem MP at the party’s conference in Bournemouth today.
Announcing his change of heart in the Observer, he accused Boris Johnson of steering the Tories towards “English nationalism”.
He raged: “What attracted me to the Conservative party was these One Nation values.
“What has happened since the referendum, initially slowly, but increasingly accelerated over the last few months, is that it has moved away from those values.
“It has become more intolerant. It has become, in the desire to neutralise Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party, more doctrinaire.
“I’m attracted to a project to defend liberal democracy and make sure our country does not drift into the nationalistic, populist politics that we see in other democracies.”
In June Mr Gyimah endorsed a second Brexit referendum in his short-lived leadership bid.
He vowed to give the people another choice, three years after Britain voted to Leave.
The plan involved giving the public the chance to vote for a version of Theresa May’s deal, No Deal, or Remain in the UK.
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He said at the time: “I will be joining the contest to become the next Conservative leader and Prime Minister to broaden the race.
“There’s a very narrow view of Breixt being discussed… there’s a broad sweep of opinion in the country, it’s not being reflected in the contest at the moment.”
He dropped out of the race just eight days later after it emerged he was the only contender without enough backers to stand.
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