A great Christmas present for the Lib Dems as Cheltenham Tory councillor defects

Cllr Klara Sudbury, who has the Conservatives to join the Liberal Democrats in Cheltenham

Liberal Democrats have taken overall control of Cheltenham Borough Council, thanks to the defection of a Conservative councillor to the Lib Dem group. Previously the council was under no overall control but run by the Liberal Democrats.

Councillor Klara Sudbury is both a borough councillor and a Gloucestershire County Councillor and will now join both the party groups on both councils.

In a statement, Cllr Sudbury said:

"I have been impressed by the work of the town's Liberal Democrat MP Martin Horwood who has been a hard working and dedicated MP for the town for nearly five years. The Liberal Democrats have taken the lead on many local issues such as defending Cheltenham railway station from the threat of a Parkway station at Elmbridge Court and protecting services for the town's most vulnerable people. I also fully support their proactive approach in fighting to save the town's green spaces and Green Belt from inappropriate development."

Welcoming her to the group, Liberal Democrat council leader Cllr Steve Jordan said:

"Klara has a well deserved reputation as a campaigner on many local issues and I am very pleased that she would like to continue those campaigns as a member of the Liberal Democrat group. I warmly welcome her application to join us. Councillors represent all their constituents of whatever political persuasion and I'm sure Klara will continue to do an excellent job for local people."