Mr Wokeford: Labour activists revolt over Tory MP Christian Wakeford joining their ranks after it emerged he once aimed a foul-mouthed insult at them
- Labour activists are furious after Christian Wakeford defected from the Tories
- They say he ‘should be nowhere near’ Labour after previous insults emerged
- Mr Wakeford was elected MP for Bury South in 2019 with wafer-thin 402 majority
- Ally of PM said Mr Johnson was ‘delighted’ as it has given party a common enemy
Labour activists were in open revolt last night after Christian Wakeford joined their ranks.
The Bury South MP became the first Tory in 15 years to cross the floor of the Commons to sit on the Labour benches.
Labour members also took aim at the Tory turncoat who they said ‘should be nowhere near’ their party – after it emerged he once branded them a ‘bunch of c***s’.
But Mr Wakeford said last night that he will continue to represent the people of Bury South, the Red Wall seat where he was elected in 2019 with a wafer-thin 402 majority.
He rejected pressure to trigger a by-election – despite previously supporting a backbench bill that called for any MP who switches parties to face a recall petition.
Mr Wakeford was one of seven Tory MPs to publicly call for Boris Johnson to quit, but his defection means there is now one fewer letter of no confidence with 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady.
A close ally of the PM said last night that Mr Johnson was ‘delighted’ about Mr Wakeford’s move as it has given the party a common enemy, while a senior Tory MP said it had ‘united’ the backbenches.
Conservatives Lee Anderson and Jonathan Gullis said Tory MPs had dubbed him Christian ‘Wokeford’, as the people of Bury South ‘voted for a Conservative agenda, not the Labour woke agenda that we’re seeing today’.
Christian Wakeford, MP for Bury South, became the first Tory in 15 years to cross the floor of the Commons to sit on the Labour benches
Christian Wakeford MP and Boris Johnson pictured as the former delivered a Christmas card to the Prime Minister last year
Christian Wakeford allegedly pictured at a house party in Manchester in June last year, Manchester Young Conservatives said on Twitter
The group claimed the MP for Bury South ‘drank so much tequila he chundered’ while at a house party
Mr Wakeford’s defection was announced just minutes before PMQs yesterday.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer began his questions by ‘warmly welcoming’ Mr Wakeford to his party. But Labour’s youth wing did not echo Sir Keir’s greeting.
A statement on Young Labour’s Twitter account said: ‘Christian Wakeford MP should not be admitted to the Labour Party.
‘He has consistently voted against the interests of working class people; for the £20 Universal Credit cut, for the Nationality and Borders Bill and for the Police and Crime Bill. Young Labour does not welcome him.’
The Corbynite Momentum campaign group also said Mr Wakeford ‘should be nowhere near the Labour Party’.
A spokesman said: ‘Christian Wakeford has voted with this hard-Right Tory government almost 400 times in just two years – voting against measures to stop climate change and tax avoidance and against enabling domestic abuse victims to have access to benefits.’
However, the chairman of Bury South Labour Party, Paddy Heneghan, welcomed the MP.
‘Members of our constituency party will be meeting tomorrow to discuss how we will be working with our new Labour MP to fight for the interests of residents and secure a future Labour government,’ he said.
While the row over No10 parties had been the final straw for him, Mr Wakeford highlighted issues including free school meals, the row over Dominic Cummings’ behaviour during lockdown, the cost-of-living crisis and the Owen Paterson affair, for his decision to defect.
He said Tories were ‘trying to defend the indefensible and they are doing so gladly’.