Three Labour MPs in Talks to Defect to the Tories, Daily Mail Claims

© REUTERS / UK PARLIAMENT/JESSICA TAYLORBritain's Labour Party leader, Keir Starmer speaks during a session in Parliament, in London
Britain's Labour Party leader, Keir Starmer speaks during a session in Parliament, in London - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.10.2021
Although Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer won some battles with the left at last week's party conference, he suffered several embarrassing defeats at the event which highlighted the left-right divisions in the ranks.
Three Labour MPs are reportedly in talks with the governing Tory party on "crossing the floor" to the government benches.
The Mail on Sunday reported that the three unnamed MPs decided to "open lines of communication" with the Conservative whips during last week's annual Labour Party conference in Brighton.

The trio reportedly despaired at Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer's failure to overtake Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the polls, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, panic-buying of fuel by motorists, the "Sausage War" with the European Union over Northern Ireland, the chaotic evacuation of Afghanistan, and a string of ministerial scandals.

They were also exasperated by deputy leader Angela Rayner calling Tories "scum" and "racist" at a conference fringe meeting.
Starmer won some battles with the Labour left at the stormy party conference, over leadership election rules, making it harder for an outsider candidate like his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn to even get on the ballot. But he was embarrassed when a resolution condemning Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories as "apartheid" was passed by delegates.
But the Mail said the leader's victories were not enough for the three would-be turncoats.
UK members of Parliament are elected as individuals representing one of 650 constituencies, and may resign the party whip or have it withdrawn from them. They can then sit as an independent or join the ranks of another party without having to resign and trigger a by-election.
Several Labour and Tory MPs resigned their parties' whips in the autumn of 2019 to form The Independent Group, later Change UK, in a bid to block the final legislation for Britain's withdrawal from the European Union. Prime Minister Boris Johnson also withdrew the whip from more than 20 of his MP who voted against it, causing parliamentary deadlock, but won a landslide victory in that December's general election.
Britain's Labour Party holds annual conference, in Brighton - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.10.2021
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The last Labour MP to defect to the Tories was Reg Prentice in 1977, when the party was in government. Prentice, who had served as overseas development secretary under PM Harold Wilson, resigned after he was deselected as candidate by a left-wing faction that came to dominate his Newham constituency party branch and lost an appeal to the party's ruling body against the move. He was made Conservative candidate for the safe seat of Daventry in the 1979 election and later appointed social security minister in Margaret Thatcher's government.
The news broke conveniently as the Conservative conference in Manchester — Rayner's home city — got underway on Sunday morning.
Bishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davison was handing out "Tory Sum" badges inside the venue in mockery of Rayner's comments.
Davison was elected in December 2019 in the collapse of Labour's northern "red wall", becoming the first Tory to hold her County Durham seat since its creation in 1885.
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