Former Tory MP Sandbach defects to Liberal Democrats

(Reuters) - UK former Conservative party member Antoinette Sandbach has joined the Liberal Democrat party, the lawmaker said in a statement on Thursday.

Sandbach, who represents the Cheshire seat of Eddisbury, will fight to retain her seat in the coming general election, she said on her website.

“This has been a journey over the last few months, but as the kaleidoscope of politics has been shaken by the referendum, not only have the Conservative Party made clear there is no place for people like me, the Liberal Democrats have made clear their values best reflect my moderate, centre-ground politics,” Sandbach said.

Jo Swinson’s Liberal Democrats won 12 seats in 2017, and polls currently put the party in third place behind Labour and the Conservatives.

Reporting by Bhargav Acharya and Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler and Stephen Coates