THE most recent senior figure to quit Hyndburn Labour has joined the Conservatives.

Last month Cllr Loraine Cox resigned from borough's strife-torn party claiming 'intimidation and manipulation'.

Now she has defected to the Hyndburn Council Tory group.

Cllr Cox was the latest in a string of councillors to resign from the Hyndburn Labour group.

Her move to the Conservatives takes their numbers on the council up to 15 with Labour on 13 including her husband and Milnshaw ward councillor Paul.

She said: "Following from my resignation from the Labour Party last week and also with the last 18 months working alongside my fellow Conservative councillor, I feel it is the right thing to do to continue my work as a local Conservative councillor to get the best for the residents and communities of Hyndburn.

"I will continue to work for all the residents I represent as I have already done for the last seven years."

Her husband said: "Loraine has her own mind and had made the decisions herself.

"I respect why she has done this and am disappointed that we have has to come to this.

"I will continue to act in the best interests of the residents in Milnshaw."

Cllr Munsif Dad, leader of the Labour group said: "I did not expect Loraine to join the Tories.

"She was elected as a Labour councillor and will have to go back to the voters of Church next year as a Tory.

"I expect them to elect a Labour representative."

Cllr Marlene Haworth, leader of Tory group, said: "I am delighted to welcome Loraine Cox into the Conservative group here in Hyndburn.

"She is an excellent councillor and will be a great asset to the team and help to prove how we can all work together to make Hyndburn a better place."

Hyndburn Tory MP Sara Britcliffe said: "Sometimes politics doesn’t come into things when you work together to make your area better.

"Loraine always puts Church first and worked closely with me during the pandemic. She will be a good addition to the Conservative group."

Church Conservative councillor Sajid Mahmood said: "I have had the great pleasure of working with Lorraine for the last 12 months.

"Together I know we can achieve great things and I am looking forward to being on the same team."

The Independent group is now back to seven including borough leader Cllr Miles Parkinson who quit Labour in March.