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Former Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston joins Liberal Democrats to help stop a no-deal Brexit

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By Caroline Mortimer
Sarah Wollaston has joined the Liberal Democrats after defecting from the Conservatives earlier this year
Sarah Wollaston has joined the Liberal Democrats after defecting from the Conservatives earlier this year

A former Conservative MP has joined the United Kingdom’s most vocally anti-Brexit party.

Sarah Wollaston left the ruling Conservative party in February to join The Independent Group - which later became Change UK and is now The Independent Group for Change - along with two other Tories and 9 Labour MPs to call for a second Brexit referendum.

She has now joined the Liberal Democrat party which now has 14 MPs in the House of Commons.

The MP for Totnes in Devon in the south-west corner of England left the group and had been sitting as an independent MP after its disastrous result in the European elections in May where it picked up just 3.3% of the vote and winning no seats.

In the wake of the defeat the party split with several members choosing to leave the party which now has five MPs.

Read more: Chuka Umunna speaks after defecting to the Lib Dems

In June, former Labour and Change UK MP Chuka Umunna announced he had joined the Liberal Democrats,

The party, which is the fourth largest in parliament, has been gaining support across the country for its unequivocal support for a second referendum on the European Union.

Its stance has helped it attract disgruntled Remainers from other parties and has undone some of the reputation damage it suffered from being part of a coalition government with the Conservative between 2010 and 2015 which imposed major cuts to public services.

Releasing a statement via the Liberal Democrat Twitter page, Wollaston said: “I am delighted to be joining the Liberal Democrats under the leadership of Jo Swinson.

“I believe the best way for me to represent my constituents in Totnes is to be working as part of a fantastic team of Liberal Democrat MPs who are unequivocally making the case for us to remain at the heart of Europe, as well as campaigning for social justice, the environment and our public services.”