Outgoing MP Lucy Allan quits Tory party to support rival Reform candidate

An MP who is not contesting her seat at the election has quit the Conservatives after she was suspended for supporting the Reform candidate in her constituency.

Lucy Allan, the outgoing MP for Telford, said on X she was supporting Alan Adams, who is standing for the rival Reform Party, to be the constituency's next MP.

Ms Allan, who has represented Telford since 2015, told the PA News Agency she had quit the Conservatives so she could support Adams - but this came after a party spokesperson said she had been suspended for her social media post.

"I have resigned from the Conservative Party to support Alan Adams to be Telford's next MP," Ms Allan said.

"I have known Alan for many years and he is genuinely the best person for the job. I want the best for Telford and I can't just let the Labour candidate have a walkover."

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Ms Allan is one of 78 Tory MPs who are not standing at the election.

Her decision to back Reform will pile further pressure on Rishi Sunak, who is facing an electoral threat from the rival party after its leader, Richard Tice, promised to stand candidates in 630 of the 650 seats that are up for grabs on 4 July.

The prime minister is also facing criticism for getting his campaign off to a haphazard start by calling the election in the rain and visiting the Titanic quarter in Belfast wearing a life jacket - inviting the comparison between his party and the sinking ship.

A leaked memo published by The Times appeared to show Tory HQ staff complaining MPs have failed to "get behind" the campaign.

Speaking to Sky News, Reform leader Richard Tice said he was "delighted" Ms Allan "recognises that Reform is the party of common-sense policies".

"Her endorsement of our great candidate in the constituency of Telford after she steps down is a sort of vindication and verification of that," he added.

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Prior to her resignation, a Conservative spokesperson said: "Lucy Allan has been suspended from the party with immediate effect.

"The people of Telford now have the chance to vote for a dedicated and hardworking new candidate who will put Telford first.

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"A vote for Reform is a vote for Keir Starmer."

Helen Morgan, the Liberal Democrat MP for North Shropshire, said: "The Conservatives are in complete meltdown. Every day on their campaign trail ends in chaos and calamity.

"From gimmicky policy announcements to an MP exodus to MPs holidaying during the election, the Conservatives are in freefall.

"The Liberal Democrats are on the up, across the country, we're taking the fight to the Conservatives as they fight like rats in a sack."