May 5, 2022 11.11 am This story is over 24 months old

Former Lincolnshire Tory MP Nick Boles announces he has voted Labour

He split from the Tory party over Brexit

Former Conservative Lincolnshire MP Nick Boles has announced he has cast his vote for Labour in the local elections.

Mr Boles represented Grantham and Stamford but left the Tory party after differences over Brexit.

He said this was the first time he had voted Labour in 25 years.

He has also retweeted a message from Labour leader Kier Starmer urging voters to “send the Tories a message they can’t ignore.”

His announcement has provoked a mixture of reaction from across the political spectrum.

Alex Sobel, Labour MP for Leeds North West, said simply on Twitter: “Welcome back.”

“[The Tweet]  is the most sane and encouraging thing I have read in days”, said Richard Taylor.

Some Conservatives appeared to be feeling somewhat betrayed by the announcement. Former Deputy Mayor of London Roger Evans said: “It’s nice of you not to mention that when you were seeking a safe Conservative seat.”

Mr Boles was elected as the Grantham and Stamford MP in 2010, and served as Minister of State for Skills.

In the EU referendum, he backed the Remain Campaign.

He resigned the Conservative party whip in March 2019, saying his party were refusing to compromise over Brexit.

He sat as an Independent Progressive Conservative until the General Election that year, when he stood down from Parliament.

He describes himself as a ‘militant moderate’ in his Twitter profile.

The 1997 elections – the last time he voted Labour – saw a landslide which brought New Labour to power under Tony Blair.