A former senior Conservative Elmbridge councillor has defected to the Liberal Democrats in the upcoming Surrey County Council elections.
Chris Elmer, a former Tory councillor in Elmbridge from 2007 to 2016, said he had become "disillusioned" with the Conservative administration while he was still a councillor.
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He had chaired both the licensing and planning committees, and was vice chairman of the overview and scrutiny committee, as well as a member of the Surrey County Council local committee for Elmbridge.
Mr Elmer did not put his name forward for the 2016 Elmbridge elections last May.
Speaking ahead of his appointment as the Lib Dem candidate for Walton in the May 4 elections, he said: "Here in Surrey I became disillusioned with the Conservative administration while I was still a Conservative Elmbridge Borough Councillor.
"When as a member of the same political group my efforts on behalf of my ward residents were frustrated at every stage, something is very wrong.
"They have had control for too long and become both complacent and arrogant - so I am very clear that Surrey needs a fresh start with the Liberal Democrats.
"With regard to national events, it was the referendum result to leave the EU and the damaging consequences for our living standards and rights that made me decide that my political allegiance now lay with the Liberal Democrats.
"I suppose the bottom line is that I had to grow up politically - and fast given the alarming result. It was always going to be hard to make such a decision but I have a mind that I can change as facts emerge and are assessed. Something too many Conservatives cannot or will not do."
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