Former Conservative MP Sam Gyimah joins Lib Dems

Sam Gyimah

Former Conservative MP Sam Gyimah has joined the Liberal Democrats.

Six MPs have defected to the party in recent weeks, including former Tory MP Philip Lee, and ex-Labour MPs Luciana Berger and Chuka Umunna.

Mr Gyimah was one of the 21 Tories who had the Conservative whip removed after rebelling against Boris Johnson in a bid to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

Last December, the East Surrey MP quit as science and universities minister in a row over Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

The 43-year-old briefly stood in the race to become Conservative Party leader after Mrs May quit.

The Lib Dems currently have 18 MPs, having been boosted by a victory in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election and the defections.

In an interview with the Observer, Mr Gyimah said he was “an outcast in the Conservative party”, adding: “But that’s Brexit. It has divided families. The country is divided. This is a huge fault line.”\

He said: “I’ve been involved in the Conservative party for two decades. I’ve fought for the party. I have an unusual background – I’m not your typical Tory recruit.

“I’ve spent a long time evangelising about why people should look at the Conservative party seriously. It is sad that I find myself at a crossroads.”