Free from fear or favour
No tracking. No cookies

Labour MPs are ‘Furious’ with Starmer Over Defection of Hard-Right Conservative MP Natalie Elphicke

One Labour MP described the decision to take Natalie Elphicke as a “disgrace” that would “come back to bite us”

Keir Starmer welcomes defected Conservative MP Natalie Elphicke to the Labour Party. Photo: PA Images / Alamy

Newsletter offer

Subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive editorial emails from the Byline Times Team.

Keir Starmer’s decision to welcome the defection of hard-right Conservative MP Natalie Elphicke’s to the Labour Party has caused fury and disbelief among Labour MPs.

One Labour MP told Byline Times that the “whole Parliamentary Labour Party is furious” about the decision to embrace Elphicke, who has a long record of inflammatory comments about immigrants and asylum seekers.

Elphicke, who is the MP for Dover, has previously accused the Labour Party of wanting “open borders” and called for asylum seekers to be forcibly turned back in the English Channel. She has also suggested that those who arrive here use razor blades to cut their fingers to avoid being identified.

Elphicke was also suspended from the House of Commons in 2021 after being found to have tried to influence a judge who was presiding over the case of her then-husband Charlie Elphicke, who was later found guilty of sexually assaulting two women. 

Elphicke defended her husband at the time, saying that his being “attractive” to women had made him “an easy target for dirty politics and false allegations.”

‘Labour Won the Local Elections but it has a Problem – it Can’t Engage With UK Muslims’

Labour’s triumph was almost entirely due to a collapse in Conservative support. To succeed in the General Election it must directly engage with a new generation of British Muslim voters

One Labour MP told Byline Times that MPs from across all wings of the party, up to and including Shadow Cabinet members, had made their displeasure about the move known to the Labour leader’s team.

Responding to her defection, the MP described it as a “disgrace”.

“I think it’s a disgrace and I know a lot of colleagues are extremely unhappy”, the MP said.

“There’s being a broad church and then there’s admitting hard-right Tory MPs who demonise refugees and dismiss sexual assault survivors. 

“We already know that many voters don’t understand what the Labour Party stands for. How does allowing someone who doesn’t remotely share our politics to become one of our MPs help? Or is Natalie’s vision the one Keir wants to present to voters?

‘Keir Starmer’s General Election Reality and Why Comparisons with Tony Blair’s Victory Are Problematic’

Professor Chris Painter explores the likely determinants of the next general election outcome – which polls consistently predict Labour will win

“As the saying goes, if you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything and that’s what is already putting voters off and worrying them about a future Labour government. It’s yet another move that will come back to bite us.”

Elphicke’s defection has also stunned the Conservative Party. One leading right-wing anti-immigration Conservative MP was heard commenting that Elphicke was considered “hardcore” on the issue, even to them.


Receive the monthly Byline Times newspaper and help to support fearless, independent journalism that breaks stories, shapes the agenda and holds power to account.

We’re not funded by a billionaire oligarch or an offshore hedge-fund. We rely on our readers to fund our journalism. If you like what we do, please subscribe.

Asked about her defection, a spokesperson for Rishi Sunak, said that: “I think it’s down to Labour to explain some of her past comments and why they believe that she’s now the right person to join their party.”

Elphicke plans to stand down at the next general election but has discussed taking on a new role advising the Labour party on housing, a Labour spokesman said.

A spokesman for the Labour leader told this paper that they were “confident” that Elphicke shares Labour values, despite voting for restrictions on trade union strikes and against action on climate change.

Asked whether Labour would also welcome Nigel Farage into the party, they replied that “we have conversations with all sorts of people who want to come and support the party”.

Written by

This article was filed under
, , , ,