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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 January 2007, 08:07 GMT
Council defector not to quit seat
Plymouth Civic Centre
Labour still has a one-seat majority at Plymouth City Council
A Plymouth city councillor who has defected from the Liberal Democrats to the Conservatives says he sees no reason why he should resign his seat.

The defection of Plympton Erle councillor John Lock, 68, reduces the number of Lib-Dems on the council from three to two on the 57-seat authority.

Mr Lock said he believed the Lib Dems "were not going anywhere" and he wanted the strength of a larger party.

Lib-Dems said they believed they would still do well in May's local elections.

'Party colours'

Mr Lock's defection to the Tories means there are now 26 Conservatives on the council, after Labour's 29 and ahead of the Lib-Dems' two. Labour retains its one seat majority.

Mr Lock said he had been considering his decision for about a year but wanted to be part of the party that he thought would take control of the council in May.

Local Labour leader and council chief Tudor Evans said Mr Lock should stand down immediately and fight again under his new party colours.

Mr Lock said: "Certainly not. If someone defected to the Labour Party, would they tell them to quit their seat?"

Mr Lock said he had no ambitions to join the council's cabinet, saying he was "essentially a ward councillor".

Liberal Democrat leader Karen Gillard, who defected to the Lib-Dems from the Tories in 2001, said she did not bear Mr Lock any ill feeling, adding that he worked very hard in his ward.

She said: "We're going from strength to strength and we'll be fighting every seat."

Voters will go to the polls over 19 seats in a city-wide election in May.


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