Piling further pressure on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to quit, a member of parliament from the ruling Conservative Party on Wednesday defected to the opposition Labour Party.

Christian Wakeford, a representative of Bury South in northwest England, announced his decision in a letter to Johnson, saying “the policies of the Conservative government that you lead are doing nothing to help the people of my constituency and indeed are only making the struggles they face on a daily basis worse.”

“From today I will be sitting as the Labour MP for Bury South because I have reached the conclusion that the best interests of my constituents are served by the programme put forward by Keir Starmer and his party,” he said.

He said the UK is need of a government that is willing to tackle the cost of living crisis and in creating a path out of the pandemic that protects living standards and the social security of the wider population.

“Sadly both you and the Conservative Party as a whole have shown themselves incapable of offering the leadership and government this country deserves. I can no longer support a government that has shown itself inconsistently out of touch with the hard working people of Bury South and the country as a whole,” he added.

He said his decision was “about much more than your leadership and the disgraceful way you have conducted yourself in recent weeks.”

Johnson has come under intense pressure in recent weeks following revelations about rule-breaking lockdown parties in Downing Street.

Wakeford is among several Conservative MPs to have written a letter of no confidence in the prime minister.

Under Conservative Party rules, a leadership contest is triggered if 15% of sitting lawmakers demand a change at the top. If chair of the backbench 1922 Committee, Graham Brady, receives 54 letters, a vote will be called.

He praised Labour “for providing an alternative government the UK can be proud and not embarrassed of.”

Starmer, the leader of Labour, said he is “delighted” that Wakeford has joined them “to build a new Britain which guarantees security, prosperity and respect for all.”

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