Former Preston mayor Coun Christine Abram has followed her husband Norman in defecting from the Liberal Democrats to the Conservatives.

County Coun Norman Abram, who represents Preston West at County Hall, announced his decision to switch allegiances to the Tories this week.

And it has been confirmed that Preston City Coun Christine Abram, who is the deputy mayor after serving as mayor last year, has also swapped parties.

County Coun Abram said: “I have been unhappy for some time as part of a dysfunctional party group with no positive agenda. I want to improve things for people in Preston West and I just felt that being part of a small group, I could not do that.

“We have not been head-hunted but it is something that I have been thinking about for a long time and it has been a very difficult position.

“I cannot speak on behalf of Christine but I know that she felt that she didn’t get much support during her mayoral year. The Lib Dems work very closely with the Conservatives on the city council but they have no platform to put forward their policies.”

The Conservatives have welcomed the switch.

Tory group leader County Coun Geoff Driver, who also sits on Preston City Council, said, “Norman Abram is an experienced hard working councillor who will be an asset to the Conservative group and I am delighted to welcome him to our team.

“We are working hard on our election campaign and we feel that Norman will be a good addition.”