A TORY councillor has made a shock switch to Labour.

During the full council meeting at the Parr Hall on Monday, it was confirmed that Cllr Phil Eastty has defected from the Conservative group to the Labour group.

The Rixton and Woolston councillor won his seat for the Tories in May 2021.

It is understood his decision is not linked to Prime Minister Boris Johnson or the Conservatives nationally.

Council leader Cllr Russ Bowden, Labour, shared his views on the matter during the meeting.

He spoke to ‘welcome’ Cllr Eastty to the Labour group and highlighted the ‘unacceptable behaviour’ of the Conservative group over the last 12 months in the chamber, which he said ‘also extends to how they deal with members of their group’.

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He said he is firmly of the view that every member is elected to represent residents of the community they serve. He said the fact that Cllr Eastty has been ‘excluded from that’ over recent months is a ‘shame’ on the Conservative group.

He said: “We welcome Cllr Eastty to the Labour group – it’s clear that we share a number of values.

“We look forward to working with him and delivering for the residents of Rixton and Woolston.”

He said ‘this has all come about’ over the past few days, and that council officers will be asked to review the proportionality calculation for the allocation of committee places on the council.