John Bercow, the former Tory MP and Speaker of the House of Commons, has switched his political allegiances to join the Labour Party.
Mr Bercow, who stepped down as Speaker in 2019 after 10 years, said he regards today’s Conservative Party as “reactionary, populist, nationalistic and sometimes even xenophobic”.
He said he joined the Labour Party a few weeks ago because he now shares its values and sees it is as the only means to removing the current Tory government from office.
“I am motivated by support for equality, social justice and internationalism. That is the Labour brand,” he said.
“The conclusion I have reached is that this government needs to be replaced. The reality is that the Labour party is the only vehicle that can achieve that objective. There is no other credible option.”
Mr Bercow described Prime Minister Boris Johnson as "a successful campaigner but a lousy governor".
“I don’t think he has any vision of a more equitable society, any thirst for social mobility or any passion to better the lot of people less fortunate than he is," he said.
"I think increasingly people are sick of lies, sick of empty slogans, sick of a failure to deliver.’’
He said the Conservatives’ unexpected loss of the Chesham and Amersham parliamentary seat in the recent by election showed there is "considerable distrust on the part of voters in the south of England of this government".
Asked if he believed Keir Starmer could lead his party to victory in the next general election, Mr Bercow said he is unsure.
“The jury is out. I am, however, hopeful because I observed Keir Starmer at close quarters from the Speaker’s chair. He may not be Bill Clinton or Barack Obama but he is decent, honourable and intelligent and he came into politics as public service.
"I believe that he is motivated by an earnest and consuming desire to better the lot of the vast majority of the people of this country who do not enjoy the privileges that he does.”