MP Lucy Allan quits Tories to back Reform UK candidate

A Tory MP who is leaving Parliament has quit the party and backed Reform UK in the seat she is vacating.

Outgoing Telford MP Lucy Allan said Reform’s Alan Adams would offer an alternative to “more of the same politics and more of the same politicians”.

The Tory Party responded by suspending her with immediate effect, but she said she had resigned to support Mr Adams rather than Conservative Hannah Campbell.

Ms Allan said: “I have resigned from the Conservative Party to support Alan Adams to be Telford’s next MP.

“I have known Alan for many years and he is genuinely the best person for the job. I want the best for Telford and I can’t just let the Labour candidate have a walkover.”

She won Telford in 2019 with a majority of 10,941, but in 2017 the Conservatives won by just 720 – and she first won the seat in 2015 with a majority of 730.

Ms Allan said: “Alan is not in it for personal advantage, power, or control over people. Alan’s motivation for standing for election is profoundly honourable. He will be honest with Telford and put Telford first.

“Alan gives Telford a choice, so that Telford does not have to settle for more of the same politics and more of the same politicians.”

Rishi Sunak warned would-be Reform voters they could “put Keir Starmer in power”.

He told reporters on a campaign visit in Buckinghamshire: “I think when it comes to Reform, I understand people’s frustrations, but it is very simple: either Keir Starmer or me is going to be Prime Minister on July 5.

“So, if you are someone who wants strong borders and wants to get a grip of illegal migration, if you are someone who wants a more pragmatic, serious, hard-headed approach to net zero which prioritises energy security and cutting people’s bills, I am going to deliver that, not Keir Starmer.

“That is the choice at this election. So, for people who are thinking about voting for other parties, but particularly Reform, all that is going to do is put Keir Starmer in power and you are not going to see any change on the issues that you care about.”

Veterans minister Johnny Mercer told Times Radio that Ms Allan’s move was “not good news – but it doesn’t mean the wheels are coming off the campaign”.

A Conservative Party spokesman said: “Lucy Allan has been suspended from the party with immediate effect.

“The people of Telford now have the chance to vote for a dedicated and hardworking new candidate who will put Telford first. A vote for Reform is a vote for Keir Starmer.”

A Reform spokesman said: “Of course we are absolutely delighted that she is backing our candidate in Telford.

“She, like many Conservatives, feels that the Reform party represents traditional centre-right values and priorities in a way that the Conservative Party has long forgotten.”

It is the latest sign of unrest within the Tory ranks following Rishi Sunak’s decision to call an early General Election.

Tory peer Lord Goldsmith, an ally of former prime minister Boris Johnson, hit out at Mr Sunak and indicated he believed the Conservatives were on course for an electoral disaster.

“I understand the anger towards Sunak who has damaged the party almost beyond repair and all but guaranteed the majority of his MPs will lose their job next month,” the former minister said.

“But it’s hard to muster much sympathy given that none of this would have happened without the complicity of a majority of the party and what is now unfolding was entirely predictable – indeed predicted.

“The hope is that when Sunak disappears off to California in a few weeks there are at least some decent MPs left around which to rebuild.”

Mr Sunak insisted he would remain in the UK, whether or not he won the election.

Asked about the claim he would move to California, he told ITV News: “It’s simply not true. I mean, it’s just simply not true.”

Southampton fan Mr Sunak added: “This is my home. I mean, my football team just got promoted back in the Premiership and I hope to be watching them for years to come in the Premier League.”