Corby councillor Bob Riley has quit the Liberal Democrats and joined the Labour Party.
Cllr Riley has represented the borough’s Rural West Ward since his election in May 2011.
He said he joined the Liberal Democrats because he felt the party could deliver a stronger economy and a fairer society but that its record in government is making life harder for people in Corby.
His defection to Labour takes the party’s large majority on the authority to 22, and reduces the number of Lib Dem councillors to just two. The Conservatives have four representatives on the council.
Speaking after signing his Labour Party membership forms, Cllr Riley said: “Like many people in Britain, I thought the Lib Dems offered a positive alternative which would benefit people in Corby.
“Instead we’ve seen them form a government which has cut income tax for the top 1 per cent of earners, saving the super-rich a total of £3bn, while hardworking people are being hit by rising prices and falling wages which the Institute for Fiscal Studies says is leaving them £1,600 a year worse off.
“Put simply, I couldn’t be in a party that was presiding over a cost-of-living crisis, failing to stand up to vested interests, hitting the vulnerable and disabled to pay for the bankers’ mess, and weakening vital public services such as the NHS.
“Ed Miliband’s One Nation Labour is the only party that can stop the rise of payday lenders and food banks by making sure hardworking people have the opportunity to earn their way to our shared prosperity.”
Welcoming Cllr Riley to the borough’s council’s Labour group, council Leader Tom Beatie said: “It’s easy to see why Bob isn’t proud of the Lib Dem’s record; I congratulate him for standing up for his principles. I look forward to working with him in building a better Corby.”