Former health secretary Dan Poulter said the “chaos” in the NHS led to him defecting from the Conservative Party to Labor. The part-time GP said the Conservatives had become “a nationalist party of the right”.

Saturday, April 27, 2024, 6:24 p.m., UK

Conservative MP and former health minister Dan Poulter has defected to the Labor Party.

The MP for Suffolk Central and Ipswich North, who had a majority of 23,321 votes at the last election, has indicated he has no plans to stand in the election next general election.

The waste was uncovered in an article on The Observer website, in which the part-time GP explained why he switched parties.

He said: “The chaos of today’s fragmented patchwork of community addiction services, which makes the emergency department the default location for people seeking treatment and help, has increased pressure on an already overstretched service.”

“The psychological toll of a service that is almost stretched to its limits is not just limited to patients and their families. It weighs heavily on me too.” NHS colleagues who are unable to provide the right care in a system that simply no longer works for our patients.

“This has led me today to resign from the Conservative Party to concentrate on my work as a doctor and support Keir Starmer.”

The MP for Suffolk Central and Ipswich North said he will not stand at the next general election

He told the Observer that in the last eight years the Conservatives had become “a nationalist party of the right, much more like what we see in Europe”.

“It's not all that can be said [Tory] “MPs are like that,” he said.

“There are good MPs, but you get the feeling that the party is moving further and further to the right and is increasingly taking a more nationalist position.”

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer celebrated the defection on social media.

“It is fantastic to have MP Dr. “To welcome Dan Poulter to today's changed Labor Party,” he said in a post on X.

“It’s time to end the Conservative chaos, turn the page and reclaim Britain’s future. I’m really pleased that Dan has chosen to join us on this journey.”

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said he was “really pleased” Dr. To welcome Poulter to his party. File image: PA

Sky's Jon Craig described the defection as a “catastrophic blow for the Conservatives and a massive propaganda coup for Labour”.

“Dr. Poulter's departure means the Commons majority of 80 that Boris Johnson won in December 2019 is now just 41, about half what it was three and a half years ago,” he added.

“But more than the terrible figures, as dire as they are, it is his threat to support Labor in the NHS in the run-up to the general election that will worry the Conservatives.”

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Wes Streeting, Labour's shadow health secretary, said in a tweet: “I'm proud to welcome MP Dr. Welcoming Dan Poulter to the @UKLabour Party.”

“As a frontline clinician, he has seen the damage that 14 years of Conservative government has done to our NHS.

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“I appreciate his support and look forward to working with him, particularly on mental health reform.”

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