Pair swap sides in Lancaster and Fleetwood as election looms

Two forner politicians from the Labour and Conservative parties have swapped sides to endorse parliamentary candidates in Lancaster and Fleetwood whom they may previously have opposed.

Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 1:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 1:32 pm
As the latest General Election looms on December 12, Brexit has changed the political landscape
As the latest General Election looms on December 12, Brexit has changed the political landscape

The former Tory MP for Blackpool North, Harold Elletson, has announced he’s backing the local Labour candidate Cat Smith in the forthcoming General Election.

And Conservative candidate Louise Thistlethwaite has the backing of a former Wyre Labour councillor for Fleetwood, Terry Rogers.

Mr Rogers was Wyre’s armed forces champion and also chairman of Fleetwood Town Council, but is no longer a councillor.

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Labour's Cat Smith with Harold Elletson, former Conservative MP

Ms Smith is defending her majority of 6,661 when the country takes to the polling stations on Thursday, December 12.

Dr Elletson, an international communications and public affairs consultant., said: “I’m delighted to have nominated Cat Smith because she has been an excellent MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood.”

“She has served the interests of everyone in the constituency with real dedication.

“This election is the most important since the second world war. Britain is facing economic disaster and the prospect of a Conservative Government with a hard-right agenda.

Conservative candidate Louise Thistethwaite with ex-Labour councillor Terry Rogers

“Johnson’s Tory party is extreme and uncaring, and Brexit is only the beginning. The only way of preventing this is to vote for Cat Smith.”

Ms Smith said: “On the doorstep I’m repeatedly being told by previously Conservative voters that they can no longer back the party they have supported all their lives.

“They are frightened by the Tories’ shift to the extreme right."

Terry Rogers said: “I was a member of the Labour Party but I left when Jeremy Corbyn came in because I thought the party was becoming too left wing and I felt, as did a lot of other Labour supporters, that the party no longer had a place for me.

“I’m am ex-servicemen and I don’t feel compatible with where the party is these days.

“I think Louise is an excellent candidate and I believe she will be more orientated to Fleetwood than Cat Smith has been.

“Fleetwood voted overwhelmingly for Brexit and I believe the Conservatives can deliver it, while having a broad range of other policies.”

Conservative candidate Louise Thistlethwaite said: “I’m delighted that Terry is now supporting the Conservative Party and it has been excellent campaigning with him in the town.

“Terry is incredibly respected in the town and I hope many other Fleetwood residents will do the same as him in supporting the Conservatives at the election.”

The Brexit Party’s Leanne Murray, The Liberal Democrats’ Peter Jackson, and The Green Party’s Caroline Jackson are also challenging the seat in Lancaster and Fleetwood.