A councillor who quit Labour for the Conservatives, then recanted 24 hours later, and then left Labour again to be an independent has now, finally, joined the Conservatives

Matthew Courtliff, who was elected for Lydiard and Freshbrook in 2016 has now been accepted by the Conservative group which holds control in Euclid Street.

Coun Courtliff said: “I entered politics with the desire to contribute towards making our town and our community a place that my family and fellow residents would enjoy living in and being part of. During the three years I have served on Swindon Borough Council and having worked very closely with the Conservative councillors on West Swindon Parish Council, I feel that the Conservative administration is the right group to continue to take Swindon from strength to strength.

"I have seen that only the Conservatives are showing strong leadership and have the a positive vision for our town with a clear plan to deliver its priorities and pledges. They also have the ability to manage the finances soundly against a backdrop of increasing demand for social care. I look forward to working with my new colleagues to keep our town moving in the right direction.”

Council leader David Renard said: “My colleagues and I are delighted to welcome Matthew into the Conservative group where he will make a positive contribution to the work of the administration. He is a bright young man whose youth, enthusiasm and ideas will help shape our agenda for the future and we look forward to working with him.”

In 2016 Coun Courtliff announced he was leaving Labour for the Conservatives before changing his mind. He became an independent in February this year when seven MPs left the party to form the Independent Group.

His joining the Conservatives increases majority in the council chamber from one seat to three - bringing the Conservatives from 29 to 30, and dropping the opposition councillors from 28 to 27.