West Lothian Labour councillor Angela-Doran Timson has left the party to join her husband Damian as a Conservative politician.
The move boosts the numbers of Conservatives on West Lothian Council to eight ward members.
The minority Labour group leading the administration with Conservative support, is now down to 10 councillors. The SNP has 14.
Mrs Doran-Timson, representing, Broxburn, Uphall and Winchburgh, said the move was down to Labour’s inability to stand up to the SNP and because she wanted to help create more jobs and get people into work, since she is also a work coach by profession.
The professional work coach married Conservative group leader Damian Doran-Timson last December in Broxburn. The couple met shortly after both were elected to West Lothian Council in 2017.
Explaining why she left Labour, Councillor Doran-Timson said: “Over and over again, Labour have been weak on the union. At council meetings, they have not been prepared to oppose the SNP. Some in the Labour group would even be happy to see indyref2.
“I am joining the Scottish Conservatives because they are the only party strong enough to stop the SNP and the only party that stands up for Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom every time.
“As a work coach, I firmly believe we must be absolutely focused on creating more jobs and helping people back into work above all else. Our top priority has to be Scotland’s recovery, not another referendum.”
Local Tory leader Councillor Doran Timson said: “I am delighted Angela has left Labour and joined the Scottish Conservatives. I have seen at first hand how hard she works for the residents of Broxburn, Uphall and Winchburgh.
“Angela’s priorities are always to do the right thing by her constituents and she has done the right thing by joining the Scottish Conservatives.”
Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross said: “I’m delighted to welcome Angela to the Scottish Conservatives and I know she will continue to be a great representative for local people in West Lothian.
“This gain proves once more that we are the real alternative for working people across Scotland who want to remove the SNP from power.
“More and more ex-Labour voters, just like Angela, have decided to vote Scottish Conservative in recent elections.”
“While Labour fell backwards to their worst ever Holyrood result, we won more votes than ever before and more people like Angela are joining us as we build Scotland’s real alternative to the SNP.”
However, the council’s Labour group said its members were shocked by Councillor Doran-Timson’s announcement.
A statement released by the group said: “Councillor Angela Doran-Timson’s move to the Conservatives has come as a huge surprise to the West Lothian Labour Group as she never raised any concerns about our very clear and unambiguous stance that Scotland is better off as part of the UK and that there should not be another independence referendum.
“We are greatly disappointed that the people of Broxburn, Uphall and Winchburgh have now been left without a Labour representative for whom they voted.
“The West Lothian Labour Group remains committed to working in the interests of the people of West Lothian.”
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