Another blow for Tories as Kettering councillor crosses the floor and joins Labour Party

He represents the Ise ward on North Northamptonshire Council
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Another Conservative councillor has resigned from party – causing a new blow to North Northamptonshire Council’s (NNC) beleaguered leader Cllr Jason Smithers.

Cllr Elliot Prentice has formally joined the Labour Party and crossed the floor, joining the opposition just a week after two other NNC councillors also left the Tories to become independents.

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In a letter to the Conservative Party, Cllr Prentice, who represents the Ise ward in Kettering, said his values no longer aligned with the party after their ‘numerous failings’.

Cllr Elliot Prentice has resigned from the Conservative Party and joined Labour /National World/NNCCllr Elliot Prentice has resigned from the Conservative Party and joined Labour /National World/NNC
Cllr Elliot Prentice has resigned from the Conservative Party and joined Labour /National World/NNC

The letter said: “Due to what I believe to be numerous failings by the national party, I can no longer align myself with the beliefs and values of the Conservative Party as I feel these values are now far from my own.”

Speaking about his decision Cllr Prentice said: “After much consideration, I am pleased to announce my decision to join the Labour Party. It has become very clear to me that Labour are best placed to serve Kettering and the country more widely.

“I am very keen to support Rosie Wrighting in her bid to become the new MP for Kettering and look forward to doing this, alongside continuing to work hard for the residents of Ise ward and the North Northants Council.”

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The defection comes after prospective Tory councillors were told they must do 30 sessions of doorstep canvassing for Kettering MP Philip Hollobone to be in the running to stand for election.

A quota had been introduced by the Kettering Constituency Conservative Association "to maximise the opportunity" for Mr Hollobone’s re-election, as reported by NN Journal.

Seven Rothwell Conservatives, including two on NNC, also quit the party over NNC’s controversial plans for a traveller site on green space near the A14, saying they were fed up of being ignored.

In response to the announcement, Cllr Smithers said: "Elliot is a really good councillor and we are disappointed, however, if his political views and allegiances have changed so dramatically then he is making the right choice. I wish him all the best of luck.”

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Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Kettering Rosie Wrighting said: “I am delighted to have Elliot's support in becoming Kettering's next Labour MP, and I am pleased to welcome him into the Labour Party.

“Elliot has a depth of knowledge of the Ise ward and is passionate about the future of Kettering. He will be an asset to the campaign.”

Labour Group leader at NNC Cllr Matt Keane added: ““I am delighted that Cllr Elliot Prentice has decided to join the Labour Party. Elliot will be a brilliant addition to the North Northamptonshire Labour Group and will continue to be a strong voice for the residents of Ise ward in Kettering.”

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