A LABOUR borough councillor has defected to the Conservatives to back the Barrow and Furness Tory parliamentary candidate.

Councillor Gordon Murray, who represents Dalton South Ward on Barrow Borough Council, has switched his allegiance to the Conservatives to give his backing Simon Fell who is contesting the Barrow and Furness parliamentary seat for the Tories in the general election.

Cllr Murray says he is swapping parties because he is against the stance of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The Dalton councillor is not new to defecting, in 2007 Cllr Murray and his daughter Lynn Murray left the Conservatives to become the first ever Liberal Democrat Councillors on Barrow Borough Council. Cllr Gordon Murray stood as a Labour candidate for Dalton South in 2011 borough elections and won the seat. He retained the seat for Labour again in 2015.

Cllr Murray said: “Every councillor should back the area they represent to the hilt and fight for it to succeed. But Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party only seem to want to shut Barrow down.

“Only the Conservative Party backs Trident and the investment coming into our area, meaning more local jobs and a strong local economy. I want to fight for Dalton residents in the most effective way possible - by joining the only party that backs our area.

“I can’t wait to get on the campaign trail with Simon Fell, campaigning for him to get to Westminster to sell the positive things that Barrow does to the Government.”

Mr Fell said: “I’m very glad to receive Gordon’s endorsement and welcome him into our Conservative local team.

“Now more than ever it’s important that we have a strong voice to fight for Barrow both locally and nationally. Gordon will continue to be a great champion for Dalton in Barrow Council for the prosperity that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party seems to determined to put at risk.”

Barrow and Furness Labour and Co-operative candidate for the general election John Woodcock, said: “I hadn’t realised Gordon Murray still considered himself and active councillor, but I wish him all the best for the future.

“Barrow and Furness needs strong, independent Labour voices who will stand up for our community as the Conservative government attempts to impose cuts to our NHS and classrooms.”

*Also standing for the Barrow and Furness seat in the general election is Loraine Birchall for the Liberal Democrats.