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Conservative Councillor defects to Labour
A FORMER Conservative councillor has defected to the Labour party in protest over the coalition government.
Chiltern District and Bucks County councillor Mohammad Bhatti defected to Labour on Wednesday last week.
Mr Bhatti (pictured)represents Newtown ward in Chesham for Chiltern District Council and Chesham East on Bucks County Council. His daughter, Rabia, 21, was inspired by her father to enter politics and serves as a Conservative on Chesham Town Council.
He said: "I'm not happy with the way the government is being run at the moment. Both parties are not doing very well for the ordinary person so I thought it was better to go to the real opposition. I'm going to work hard for the Labour party."
Speaking about why now was the right time to move, Mr Bhatti said: "You have to wait and see how things develop. It's mid-term now and still ordinary people are very disappointed."
County council elections are due to take place in May, but district elections will not take place until 2015.
Mr Bhatti added: "Some people have contacted me to say I should stay a Conservative until the next election but people have also been supportive because they felt their voice was not heard before and a move to Labour was a good one."
Mr Bhatti said he has not decided if he will run in the county elections and said the Labour party would also have to put him forward.
Mr Bhatti admitted that his daughter was not best pleased with his move to Labour. He said: "She was quite disappointed when I left, but it's up to me and she's enjoying being a Conservative councillor so she will stay there and I will stay Labour.
"We don't want to talk about politics at home, we don't want to have debates at the dinner table."
Leader of the Chesham Conservatives Councillor Mark Shaw said: "Naturally we're saddened that Councillor Bhatti has decided to leave the Conservative party.
"We do believe that he should actually resign from his seat and stand as Labour in a by-election. People in Newtown should have a say who represents them, I've spoken to a number of constituents and many feel like that."
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