Councillors defect to Tories ahead of local elections

Ben Russell writes in The Independent, reporting the defection of the Labour leader of Melton Mowbray Borough Council to the Conservatives:

Eric Pickles, the party’s local government spokesman, spoke as a senior Labour local government figure announced his defection to the Tories, expressing disillusionment with NHS reforms and the introduction of ID cards.

Mal Sheldon, Labour group leader on Melton Mowbray Borough Council in Leicestershire, said he was joining the Conservatives because of his long-standing concerns at government targets and waste.

Mr Sheldon, who has been a Labour councillor for 12 years, said it would be “dishonest” to stand for Labour in the May local council elections.

The Melton Times also reports on this, but with few details.