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Former Tory MP backs Labour's Cat Smith

Harold Elletson urged voters to elect the left-wing MP, saying Britain would face ‘economic disaster’ if Boris Johnson is returned to power

LEFT-WING Labour MP Cat Smith has received a surprise general election endorsement — from her constituency’s former Tory MP.

The shadow youth minister, who represents Lancaster and Fleetwood in north-west England, has had her nomination papers signed by former Conservative politician Harold Elletson.

Mr Elletson, who is a campaigner for greater autonomy for the north, works as a communications consultant.

He represented part of the area as a Conservative from 1992 until 1997 as the MP for Blackpool North.

The boundaries of the seat having since been redrawn, Ms Smith is MP for the town of Fleetwood that Mr Elletson represented.

After signing Ms Smith’s nomination papers, Mr Elletson told the Lancaster Guardian that the December 12 general election will be “the most important since the second world war.”

He warned that Britain would face “economic disaster” if Boris Johnson is returned to power and expressed concern at “the prospect of a Conservative government with a hard-right agenda.”

Ms Smith was first elected to Parliament in 2015 by a margin of just 1,265.

Now the long-standing supporter of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is defending a majority of 6,661.

Ms Smith said: “I never expected a former Tory MP to nominate, support and vote for me at a general election.

“But as Harold Elletson says, we need to stop this economic disaster and the prospect of a Conservative government with a hard-right agenda.”

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