THE SNP’s Westminster leader has told the Labour Party to “show some standards” after Tory MP Natalie Elphicke’s defection.

The Dover MP crossed the floor in the Commons moments before PMQs on Wednesday as she hit out at Rishi Sunak’s “incompetence”.

Elphicke was previously suspended from the Commons for one day for trying to influence the judge in a case linked to her former partner Charlie Elphicke, who was found guilty on multiple counts of sexual assault.

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She also previously hit out at footballer Marcus Rashford, claiming he missed a penalty for England because he had spent too much time "playing politics" and campaigning for free school meals.

Following Elphicke's defection, Stephen Flynn said on Twitter/X: “Show some standards” followed by the sick emoji.

The National:

In a separate post, Flynn shared an old tweet from Elphicke in which she called on Tory members to vote for Liz Truss. 

The National:

Flynn's SNP colleague, Gavin Newlands MP, quipped that Labour leader Keir Starmer "would accept a Labour membership application from Genghis Khan if he thought there was any political advantage in it".

He added: "The *Labour* party so readily accepting someone with such right-wing views on immigration tells us all we need to know about Labour's 'values'."

Even some Tory MPs were struggling to understand the news, with Wycombe MP Steve Baker commenting: “I have been searching in vain for a Conservative MP who thinks themselves to the right of Natalie Elphicke.

“One just quipped, ‘I didn’t realise there was any room to her right’.”

The National:

Elsewhere, National contributor Owen Jones said: “Come on, Starmer supporters! Let’s hear you loudly cheer on your new Labour MP, hard-right ex-Tory MP Natalie Elphicke.

“With her track record of refugee bashing, Marcus Rashford bashing, union bashing. What’s not to be proud of.”

Meanwhile, rail minister and Tory MP Huw Merriman said he was “absolutely staggered” over the “shameless” decision.

“Just recently she’d written a Daily Mail article saying, ‘don’t trust Labour on immigration, they really want open borders’ and now she’s sitting with them,” he said.

“She is just being an opportunist I’m afraid to say and I’m just disappointed for politics that she’s done what she’s done today.”

Keir Starmer (below) meanwhile has urged Tory voters to follow Elphicke to his party.

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Speaking in his parliamentary office he said: “I’m delighted to welcome Natalie Elphicke to the Labour Party. She’s got a strong track record on issues such as housing, she’s on the frontline when it comes to the crisis of small boats.

“And the reason that she’s given for joining the Labour Party is very, very important because I think she speaks for very many Tory voters in saying that the Tory party has changed, it’s left the centre ground.

“But equally the Labour Party has changed and we are pretty clearly the party of the national interest, of country first, party second.

“And I look forward to working with her on the mission to deliver the real change that this country desperately needs.”

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Asked if more Conservatives MPs could defect, he sidestepped the question but said: “I think there are very many Tory voters who genuinely feel that the party that they may have voted for – many, many times in some cases – is no longer the Tory party that they see.

“And I say to every Tory voter who feels that they want to be part of a national mission to change our country for the better that the project we’ve built here in this changed Labour Party is a project that I hope they would feel they could get behind. “

A spokesperson for Starmer said Elphicke could potentially take on an unpaid role working on housing policy with Labour.

He denied she had been offered a job in return for her defection and said: “We have talked about her doing a role building on her experience in housing policy.”

Tory MP Stephen Hammond meanwhile said he was “surprised and disappointed” by the defection.

He told Sky News: “She has always been very clear about her views, which are one of the reasons why I’m so surprised is that she’s always been on the right of the Conservative Party.

“She was hugely critical of Keir Starmer up to only a month ago about his immigration policy and relying on the French.

“I’m surprised and disappointed.”

A Tory member of Dover District Council described the move as a “kick in the guts”.

Councillor Stephen Manion said he was “sickened” by the MP’s decision to cross the floor.

“I’m saddened because we gave her a lot of support down here,” he told PA News Agency, adding: “A lot of members of the association were out there week after week campaigning for her.

“It feels like a kick in the stomach really.”