September 14, 2019
Former Tory minister Sam Gyimah has defected to the Lib Dems.
Former Tory Minister Sam Gyimah Has Defected To The Lib Dems
Announcing his decision to join the party on the first day of their annual conference in Bournemouth, the former education minister said centrists were being “cast out of both main parties”.
Gyimah said his reason for joining the Liberal Democrats was because liberal values were “under threat”.
“We cannot perceive that our institutions and democracy are immune from populism and nationalism that has tainted other democracies,” he said.
“The Liberal Democrats have a unique opportunity to make sure that we fight to defend these values and create a new force in British politics.”
Gyimah is the sixth MP to defect to Jo Swinson’s party in the last few months and takes their total to 18.The party faithful are feeling buoyant after a stream of former Tories and Labour MPs joined the party in recent weeks, including former minister Dr Philip Lee and Liverpool Wavertree representative Luciana Berger.
The defection is further good news for leader Swinson, who is preparing to strengthen her party’s pro-European Union credentials before any upcoming snap election. BREAKING: absolutely delighted to see @SamGyimah join the @LibDems today - just unveiled by @joswinson at #LibDemConf just now. He is a superb addition to the UK’s biggest and strongest #Remain party! pic.twitter.com/rM2TyY7EO6— Chuka Umunna (@ChukaUmunna) September 14, 2019Gyimah ran for the Tory leadership earlier this year, backing a second Brexit referendum but was forced to quit after failing to gather the support of six MPs.
The MP for East Surrey quit the government at the end of 2018 over Theresa May’s Brexit plan, and has since become a vocal advocate for a second referendum.
He was stripped of the party whip last week for voting against the government for a bill to block No Deal.
Gyimah was born in Beaconsfield, but split from his single mother aged six and was sent to live in Ghana, before returning to a state comprehensive to complete his GCSEs and A-Levels.
The 42-year-old credited “good schools with great teachers” as he earned a place at Somerville College, Oxford, to read philosophy, politics and economics, the Press Association reports.
His political teeth were cut at the Oxford Union, where he served as president, and sharpened as he stood for Camden council elections unsuccessfully.
Initially employed by Goldman Sachs as an investment banker, where he worked on mergers and acquisitions, Gyimah was added to the Conservative party A-List and selected as the prospective parliamentary candidate for East Surrey in 2010 following the retirement of Peter Ainsworth.
He took the seat with a 17,000 vote majority and had only been in Westminster for two years when he was made parliamentary private secretary to then Prime Minister David Cameron.
But he pushed for a bigger role in Government, becoming a whip in 2013 and childcare minister in 2014.
Further promotions to prisons minister and his most-recent role as universities minister followed.
Outside Westminster circles, his following increased after he appeared to quote from Harry Potter during Question Time.Conservative @SamGyimah has praised Theresa May for rebuking President Trump on his retweeting of Britain First #bbcqtpic.twitter.com/a9wFONx3KX— BBC Question Time (@bbcquestiontime) November 30, 2017When discussing US President Donald Trump’s Britain First retweets and Theresa May’s condemnation, he channelled Albus Dumbledore and said: “It takes great bravery to stand up to your enemies, it takes even more bravery to stand up to your friends.”This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Check back for the fullest version. Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.
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