Weston Conservative councillor defects to Labour Party

Cllr Leonard Purnell. Picture: Weston Town Council

Cllr Leonard Purnell. Picture: Weston Town Council - Credit: Archant

A long-standing Weston-super-Mare Conservative Party councillor has switched allegiances to the Labour Party.

Winterstoke Ward Councillor Len Purnell sat on Weston Town Council as a Conservatives for a number of years.

The Mercury understands the defection will not affect Cllr Purnell’s status as a councillor and will not require a by-election.

Cllr Purnell said: “I have felt more akin to the Labour Party’s their values and vision for the past 18 months.

“I have been in public service for 37 years which includes the NHS as a paramedic and Highways England as a traffic officer. I have questioned many of the Conservative policies both nationally and locally.

“I feel the only way forward for myself was to change political party to one which shares my beliefs, in particular with regards to fairness and equality.”

Cllr Catherine Gibbons added: “I’m delighted to welcome Cllr Purnell to the Labour Party.

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“I’ve known Len a while now, he’s hard working and dedicated to the community.”