Antoinette Sandbach joins the Liberal Democrats

Brexit has fundamentally rewritten the structure and shape of our politics.

As the chief architect of Brexit, it has warped the values and principles of the Conservative Party most of all. It is therefore inevitable that politicians and the public take stock and look at the parties they support and assess whether they are fit for purpose.

I came into politics to fight for a one-nation, pragmatic and centrist Government.

When I was elected, I wanted to push for action to tackle climate change, protect our NHS and improve education.

However, as I have sat on the Government benches in the House of Commons I have worked with those across the House who share these values and throughout this process one party has been stalwart in defending and promoting them, with a clear message of remain.

That is why after several months of consideration and discussion I have decided to join the only party that represents the values that I hold dear, the Liberal Democrats.

I have also seen on the ground in my constituency the impact that policies the Liberal Democrats introduced during the coalition have had on Cheshire.

I have seen how the Lib Dem’s pupil premium has put thousands extra into schools in Winsford and elsewhere in South Cheshire and narrowed the gap between rich and poor.

I have seen how Lib Dem policies to protect community assets like pubs and post offices have taken root and how much of a difference their plans for treating mental health equally to physical health could help people in Cheshire.

Beyond Cheshire, the Lib Dems are the only party who take climate change seriously.

Their proposals for new energy efficient homes, investment in solar and protections for our countryside are things I’ve been arguing for since before I was elected.

This has been a journey over the last few months, but as the kaleidoscope of politics has been shaken by the referendum, not only have the Conservative Party made clear there is no place for people like me, the Liberal Democrats have made clear their values best reflect my moderate, centre-ground politics.

That there is now only one choice of party for a brighter future and moderate, forward looking Government and that party is the Liberal Democrats.