THE former Liberal Democrat leader on the council has joined the Labour, saying his former party has ‘sold out’ by joining the Conservatives in a coalition government.

Keith Rayner, former deputy leader of the authority, has urged other Lib Dems to turn their backs on the party.

He said: “I was a member of the Liberal Democrats for 28 years and I think that they have truly sold out and are no longer the progressives in British politics.

“I want to carry on doing the best I can for our community in Waltham Forest and the Labour Party is the only party committed to the interests of ordinary people.”

Former Walthamstow councillor and prospective Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Enfield, Johar Khan, has also joined Labour.

Both men say they applied for membership before May 5, which saw the Lib Dems suffer disastrous local election results.

Mr Kahn said: “The disastrous results last week for the Liberal Democrats show that the Lib Dems are completely out of touch and have let down everyone who voted for them last year.

“I am proud to join the Labour Party which is the only party that stands for social justice in Britain & will continue to work for our community in Waltham Forest.”

The Liberal Democrat group in April denied rumours that two of its councillors were on the brink of defecting to Labour.

Johar Khan was the deputy leader of the Lib Dems during a internal power struggle on the eve of last year’s election, which saw leader John Macklin and cabinet member Bob Belam opt to stand as independents.

Labour then comfortably took overall control of the council.

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