Former Ilford North Labour chairman defects to Conservatives at height of Wes Streeting campaign

PUBLISHED: 12:40 13 January 2015 | UPDATED: 17:55 13 January 2015

Cllr Wes Streeting, cabinet member for health and wellbeing

Cllr Wes Streeting, cabinet member for health and wellbeing


The former chairman of the Ilford North constituency Labour Party has announced he will be supporting Conservative MP Lee Scott in the election – claiming Labour is “constantly failing” to address concerns.

Sanjib Bhattacharjee – who stood as a Labour candidate in Barkingside in the 2010 council elections – said he could no longer defend Ed Miliband and Ed Balls.

The news comes as a blow to Labour’s Ilford North candidate Wes Streeting, who will be challenging Mr Scott in the May elections.

In a letter circulated to the party, Mr Bhattacharjee said: “As an active campaigner, I have dedicated huge amount of my time meeting and engaging with thousands of people to ensure that we are living in a better, stronger and safer environment.

“Despite some tough times, I never compromised with my moral duties and responsibilities.

“There is no doubt that we are facing a tough time locally, regionally, nationally and globally and leading the country in the right direction is very important.

“I believe that Labour Party is constantly failing to address main concerns of our people who really work hard and have worked to live in a peaceful neighbourhood.”

He said he no longer felt “connected” with the party, and said David Cameron was the “strongest and the best leader” to represent the country.

“After meeting with several residents of Ilford North, I have no doubt that Mr Scott is the right person to continue to represent our place which is much safer, stronger and better than other neighbouring areas,” he said.

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