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Lib Dem Councillor joins Labour

Lewishams Liberal Democrat Councillor for Blackheath, Amanda De Ryk today announced her decision to join the Labour Party and resign her Lib Dem membership. This gain comes just eight months after Labour's by-election victory in Whitefoot, which saw the party take another council seat from the Lib Dems. Cllr De Ryk, who was elected in 2010, informed the Liberal Democrats of her intention to leave with the following statement: Today I have tendered my resignation to the leadership of the Liberal Democrat Party and applied to join the Labour Party. It would be dishonest of me to go forward into the next election as a Liberal Democrat candidate with the deep and serious reservations that I have about the Coalition Government. I do not feel that the Coalition has reduced the economic dangers faced by the country, one of its most stated claims. Worse, the Coalitions reform of the welfare system seems ideologically aimed to disproportionately affect the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in our society. I came into politics to give something back to the community and I feel that as a Labour councillor I am best placed to help with the things I care about most - saving our local hospital, raising the standard of social housing and improving the daily experience of those who live in our borough. I greatly enjoy the privilege of representing the people of Blackheath as a ward councillor and am committed to continuing to serve the community of Blackheath as their Councillor and the borough of Lewisham as a member of the Labour group. Local MP, Heidi Alexander, welcomed Cllr De Ryk to the Labour Party: It takes some courage to leave your party and to speak out against failing Government policies that your ex-colleagues are still defending. Amanda is a hard-working and respected councillor and I know shell be welcomed into the Labour Party. The journey Amanda has made to Labour is one that hundreds of Lib Dem voters are making every day as they see more and more evidence of the Governments failure. Mayor Sir Steve Bullock added: I am very happy to welcome Amanda to the Labour Group and look forward to working with her. It's clear that Amanda's decision is part of a growing disaffection with Government policies that are hurting the most vulnerable. Ordinary people across Lewisham are making a similar judgement on the Liberal Democrats and looking to Labour for a smarter, more humane alternative ENDS For more information please call Jamie Milne on 07876 246 994