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Politics

Former Tory minister reveals he’s voting for Labour in the local elections – and did in 1997 too

Nick Boles served as a minister in David Cameron’s government and was elected as a Tory councillor in 1998 – just a year after he voted for Labour

A former minister in David Cameron’s government has revealed he voted for Labour in 1997 and will do so again in today’s local elections.

Nick Boles served as skills minister from 2014 to 2016 and was first elected as a councillor for the party in 1998 – just a year after he voted for Labour.

Boles left the Conservative party in 2019 after nine years as an MP.

“First time I’ve voted Labour since an equally glorious May morning in 1997,” Boles said.

The revelation, understandably, led to shock – and prompted one Labour MP to thank him.

Shadow cabinet member Lucy Powell, MP for Manchester Central simply said: “Thanks Nick”.

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Before being elected as an MP, Boles served as Boris Johnson’s chief of staff while the current prime minister was mayor of London.

In his resignation speech from the Conservative Party in April 2019, Boles – who campaigned for Remain – said he was frustrated at the lack of compromise over Brexit.

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“I have given everything to an attempt to find a compromise that can take this country out of the European Union while maintaining our economic strength and political cohesion,” he said.

“I accept that I have failed. I have failed chiefly because my party refuses to compromise. I regret, therefore, that I can no longer sit for this party.”

Thursday’s local elections will see voters in 200 local authorities across Britain deciding who represents them.

As local Conservative candidates look to distance themselves from their national party, a growing number of independent candidates are hoping to take advantage of discontent with the main parties.

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