SCOTTISH Labour members have been left dismayed after the UK party welcomed the defection of a “Tory through-and-through” MP.

Christian Wakeford (below), the MP for Bury South left the Conservative Party for the opposition just minutes before Boris Johnson appeared at PMQs. 

He was given a “very warm welcome” by Keir Starmer but Labour members, including a Scottish candidate in the upcoming local elections, have hit out at the decision. 

The National: Christian Wakefield Christian Wakefield

One member, who will stand for the council elections in May, called for an immediate recall and a by-election in Wakeford’s seat.

The Labour member told the National: “Unless in the last week he has some radical change of his whole political mindset, the only reason he is jumping to Labour is he wants to keep his job.

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“They should go straight to a by-election. 

“When there were rumours Jeremy Corbyn might be starting his own party, people were saying he should step aside and have a by-election. If you’re going to call it for him then why are you not calling for it when a member of the party you’re fighting against pops in?”

According to The Public Whip, Wakeford, who holds his seat by a majority of just 0.8%, voted to make the asylum system more strict and to cap or reduce public sector redundancy payments. 

The National:

The Labour member added: “He voted for the £20 Universal Credit cut, he has voted for stricter asylum conditions and against climate change prevention - things we are supposed to be speaking out on. 

“He has voted in line with the rest of the hard-right votes they have been pushing through. 

“He is a Tory through-and-through.”

Scottish Labour MSP Mercedes Villalba highlighted Wakeford's voting record. She said he had consistently voted against measures to prevent climate change, against measures to reduce tax avoidance, and for a stricter asylum system.

"This is not the voting record of someone fit to be a Labour representative," she said.

Former Labour MSP Neil Findlay responded to say that Villalba was "wrong". "This is exactly the type of MP [Keir] Starmer wants", he said. "He would rather have a Tory than a socialist - sickening."

Other Labour internal organisations have railed against Wakeford’s acceptance into the party. 

The leftwing pressure group Momentum said: “Christian Wakeford should not be in the Labour Party.

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“Since 2019 Christian Wakeford has voted 382 times.

“He has voted with this hard right Tory Government 376 of those times. 

“Once a Tory MP always a Tory MP.”

Young Labour tweeted: “Christian Wakeford himself co-sponsored a bill mandating by-elections for MPs who change party affiliation.

“The Labour Party must uphold Bury South members’ right to choose their own Labour candidate and constituents should be able to reassess their MP.

“Christian Wakeford MP should not be admitted to the Labour Party. He has consistently voted against the interests of working-class people; for the £20 universal credit cut, for the Nationality and Borders Bill and for the Police and Crime Bill.”

In a letter to Johnson, Wakeford said: “The policies of the Conservative government that you lead are doing nothing to help the people of my constituency and indeed are only making the struggles they face on a daily basis worse.

“Sadly, both you and the Conservative party as a whole have shown themselves incapable of offering the leadership and government this country deserves.”

Wakeford was welcomed by the Labour leader Keir Starmer at PMQs. The leader of the Opposition said: “Like so many people up and down the country, he has concluded that the prime minister and the Conservative party have shown themselves incapable of offering the leadership and government this country deserved.”

Scottish Labour and Wakeford were approached for comment.