Former MK councillor joins Tory group
The second political defection within days has been greeted with surprise in Cornwall after a former "nationalist" city councillor joined the Conservatives.
Yesterday's switch comes after Cornwall Council Tory Jan Powell moved in the opposite direction and joined the Lib Dems on Friday, a move that followed her sacking as leader of the health scrutiny committee.
The opposition Lib Dem group Mrs Powell's move came following a series of troubles for Conservative council leader Alec Roberston, including an attempt by colleagues to topple him.
Now Loic Rich, a Truro city councillor who fought MP Sarah Newton for the Truro and Falmouth seat in the General Election, says he has joined the Tories, after leaving Mebyon Kernow in April.
Mr Rich, a journalist, copywriter and screenwriter, attributed the switch to his deficit-denying party, in contrast to the Tories, who had acted in "an extraordinarily pragmatic and sincere way".
"I found it very frustrating being in a party that, along with the opposition parties, seemed to be in deliberate denial of the UK's economic and social needs," he added.
Jeremy Rowe, leader of the Lib Dems at Cornwall Council, said the circumstances were very different to that of Mrs Powell, and the timing of the move was a coincidence.
"Loic Rich is a slightly harder one to understand – Mebyon Kernow is a social democratic party so it's hard to see what the cross-over is."
Truro City Council which has 12 Lib Dems in 23 wards, now has two Tory councillors.