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Majority believe MPs who switch parties should fight a by-election, 调查发现

Majority believe MPs who switch parties should fight a by-election, 调查发现
Mr Wakeford defected from the Conservatives to Labour accusing the PM of ‘disgraceful leadership’

A majority of voters believe 国会议员 who switch allegiances and join a different political party should resign their seat and contest a by-election, according to a new survey.

The finding comes just days after the former Conservative MP Christian Wakeford defected to Sir 凯尔·斯塔默Labour Party and called on 鲍里斯·约翰逊 to resign in dramatic scenes moments before prime minister’s questions.

In a scathing assessment of Mr Johnson’s leadership, the Bury South MP, who was elected in 2019, lashed out the “disgraceful” conduct of his former party over allegations of Covid rule-busting parties in No 10.

Immediately after his defection, 然而, it was highlighted that Mr Wakeford had previously pledged his support for a backbench bill, which called for any MP who switched parties to face a recall petition.

Labour has since resisted calls from Tory cabinet ministers and left-wing member in their own ranks to hold a by-election, with the shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves instead saying she would welcome a general election.

But the online survey by YouGov found 63 per cent of those asked believed an MP should fight a by-election if they switch to another party.

只是 17 per cent said they should continue to serve their term until the next general election and over 20 per cent of the 5,505 of respondents replied “don’t know”.

Bury South, a parliamentary constituency that has elected Labour MPs since 1997, was one of many seats that switched to the Conservatives at the 2019 general election when Mr Johnson won the biggest Tory majority in decades.

Since the defection of Mr Wakeford, who won the seat two years ago with a slim majority of just over 400 选票, Tory activists and MPs have already begun canvassing. The leader of the local Conservative party posted on social media at the weekend: “The campaign to return a Conservative MP for Bury South has started.”

Earlier this week the left-wing group Momentum — set up during Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party — highlighted Mr Wakeford’s voting record and insisted he should be “booted out” of the party and a by-election be called immediately.

The former shadow chancellor John McDonnell told 独立 he had “always held the view that when a person elected on one party ticket changes party that person has a democratic responsibility to go back to the people who elected him or her”.

The senior Labour MP also described the defection of Mr Wakeford — just over 10 minutes before prime minister’s questions — as a “political stunt” on Times Radio and raised questions over his previous votes in Parliament.

“Looking at some of his past statements and his voting record, to be honest I don’t see him as a Labour MP and I was brought up a Roman Catholic, so I’m a great believe in the power of conversion, but on this one it strained even my belief in the conversion,“ 他加了.

But speaking on Thursday, the Labour frontbencher Ms Reeves said she did not think there needed to be a by-election in Bury South, 添加: “You’ll remember in the last Parliament many Labour MPs left the Labour Party, some of them joined other parties, some of them created their own parties. I didn’t call then for there to be by-elections and I won’t call for a by-election now.”

“I would say to the government, if you want a by-election in Bury South, let’s have a by-election in every constituency, it’s called a general election, and let’s see what the country think about the direction the Tories are taking this country in,” the shadow chancellor added.