Former Conservative MEP Julie Girling has thrown her support to Stroud’s Labour candidate David Drew ahead of the General Election.

Ms Girling, a Conservative member for four decades before being expelled by the party last year over Brexit, said she has “no hesitation” backing Mr Drew as “too much is at stake”.

She was also the leader of Cotswold District Council and a Conservative councillor on Gloucestershire County Council.

Labour will be defending the Stroud constituency at the General Election on December 12 from the Conservatives, which the party holds a thin majority of 687.

Julie Girling said: “I was a member of the Conservative Party for 40 years, but I have no hesitation in backing David.

“Too much is at stake in this election and in Stroud it’s a two-horse race between the Conservative and David. 

“The NHS is not safe in Conservative hands. It is an issue of trust and we simply cannot trust Boris Johnson.

“This is also about our future with the EU. Quite simply Brexit will not be done. It will take years.

“We have to stop this disastrous Brexit deal. For all these reasons I am urging people to vote for David Drew.”

David Drew said: “I’m delighted to have the support of a decent one nation Conservative like Julie Girling in this election, and from my colleague Clare Moody. 

“I’m sure that Julie’s experience in the European Parliament has done much to inform her view that the Prime Minister‘s Brexit deal it’s not only bad for us economically but bad for the future integrity of the United Kingdom."