Councillor defects to MK, claiming Lib Dems have 'failed Cornwall'
The latest casualty of the Liberal Democrats' decision to go into coalition with the Conservatives has resulted in another new councillor for Mebyon Kernow.
A prominent town councillor from St Austell has resigned from the Liberal Democrats and joined the "party for Cornwall".
Derek Collins (pictured), who represents the town's Bethel ward and chairs the council's planning committee, has announced that he can no longer remain a member of a political party that he believes has lost its way.
Making the announcement at the weekend, Mr Collins said: "I can no longer, in all conscience, remain a member of the Liberal Democrats.
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"I campaigned long and hard to help elect a Liberal Democrat MP in St Austell and Newquay, telling voters that the only way to stop the Conservatives was to support Stephen Gilbert. The decision taken by MPs to back a Conservative government and implement Tory policies was a bitter pill which I could not swallow.
"I, like many people, felt very let down. I did not campaign for a Tory government and I am angry to see the Liberal Democrat MPs go back on their election pledges on everything from public spending to policing, the NHS, tuition fees and so much more.
"I have made numerous representations to the MP and senior Liberal Democrats in the local area. Promises were repeatedly made about fighting for the policies that were actually presented at the General Election – but nothing has changed.
"I have therefore tendered my resignation from the Liberal Democrats and I have joined Mebyon Kernow, which I believe is standing up for Cornwall and rightly opposing the excesses of the Coalition government.
"At the moment, the one feeling that I have is relief, I am relieved that I am no longer a member of a party that has failed Cornwall and its people. And I am relieved to be a member of MK, a truly local party, that is not afraid to tell it as it is."
Welcoming Mr Collins on board, MK leader Dick Cole said: "I have known Derek for a number of years. He is a passionate advocate of winning a better deal for Cornwall and his local area. I am delighted that he is now part of the MK team and I look forward to working closely with Derek for many years to come."