THE councillor who defied his party to keep Winchester's leader in power has defected to the Conservatives.

Cllr Jamie Scott, who had been a Liberal Democrat, has made the switch following last week's dramatic bid by the party to oust Tory leader Caroline Horrill.

He says that he now wants to concentrate on representing his ward and supporting the Conservative administration to deliver major projects in Winchester.

In a statement released by the Winchester Conservative group, Cllr Horrill said: "Jamie did the people of Winchester a great service last week by standing up to the opportunistic power grab by the Liberal Democrats.

“This means the Conservative administration can now continue to get on with the positive job of delivering what the people of this district want: regeneration of our city, top-quality services and good governance.

“It’s business as usual and we very much welcome Jamie to the fold because we know he has much to offer."

Speaking last week, Cllr Scott, who had been a Conservative before switching parties in 2014, said: "I do not support what the Liberal Democrat did because I think it was opportunist. I also could not see what a new administration would bring to the table that was different to what the Conservatives are already doing. The Lib Dems didn’t present any plan, they just wanted to gain power and this would have harmed the progress of all the important projects in the city.

"I also think it was all undemocratic. The voters had spoken in May and said they clearly wanted a Conservative administration to run the city council. This should have been honoured and not brought into disrepute by the actions of the Lib Dems and one former Conservative councillor (Kim Gottlieb).

"I am a councillor who just wants to serve his residents not play political games, so I could not sit by and watch what I thought was wrong.

"Also, in the last year, I have shadowed Caroline Horrill on the housing brief and seen she cares and is doing a good job. She has acted with dignity and ignored attacks on her integrity over the last few days. I would rather work with her for the good of Winchester district than be with those who are only interested in power."

The move means the Conservatives have now regained their majority control of the council.


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