Another Conservative defection to the Lib Dems – this time in John Major’s old backyard of Huntingdonshire

We reported last week the news that two Conservative Councillors have joined the Liberal Democrats in Winchester.

This week a former Conservative cabinet member at Huntingdonshire District Council, Colin Hyams, has announced he’s walked out on his party to join the Liberal Democrats:

Cllr Hyams said he decided to join the Liberal Democrats because he was impressed by the way they worked for Godmanchester. He said he did not plan to leave the Conservative group on the town council formally, but this would depend on the response from the party.

Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Mike Baker said: “I respect and admire Colin’s decision. He has rightly earned himself the reputation of being a man of principle and integrity. He has always done his best to put the interests of local people above any party political line.

“We in the Liberal Democrats are delighted that he is coming to join our team in Godmanchester. His experience and depth of local knowledge will be of great assistance as we all work in the interests of the people in the Huntingdonshire District.”

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  • Terry Gilbert 1st Feb '14 - 1:25pm

    He wants to remain the Conservative group? Isn’t that a) muddled thinking and b) incompatible with our party rules? I think I’d be a bit wary of him if I were Cllr Baker.

  • Alfred Emery 1st Feb '14 - 3:14pm

    How on earth can he switch from his old party to us yet still remain with them on the council. Either he is now a LibDem ( and not a Tory) or he isn’t, surely ?

  • @Alfred……..the group leader doesn’t seem too bothered…

    Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Mike Baker said: “I respect and admire Colin’s decision. He has rightly earned himself the reputation of being a man of principle and integrity…

  • Paul Kennedy 1st Feb '14 - 4:17pm

    I think there is a distinction between his role as district councillor and town councillor. At town council level, councillors tend to be much less tribal.

  • I somehow think the problem will sort itself out by the Tories. They won’t want a Lib Dem in their group as it will make them a laughing stock. I think it just goes to show how politically naive Cllr Hyams is and wonder whether he truly is a Lib Dem. I’m just a tad more wary, as much as I welcome a defection to us. He could easily defect again, say, if he doesn’t get his way on an issue dear to him.

  • peter tyzack 2nd Feb '14 - 2:33pm

    – trouble is, people tend to learn their politics from our ‘free’ press, hence the number of people in Tory and Labour parties, in particular, who find themselves at odds with their masters, and then discover lo-and-behold, they should have been LibDems all along. Tribal loyalties however do grow rather strong and so to actually take up your bag and join another group takes immense courage. As beneficiaries of this growing(hopefully) trend, we should be understanding, supportive and patient whilst an individual makes the transition, and certainly not sceptical or hostile towards someone doing so.
    Though having said all that, this is only a TOWN, ie Parish, council, where such party political identities are thankfully very blurred, on the whole.

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