TWO long serving Poole councillors have deserted the Liberal Democrats and joined the Conservative group.

Father and daughter Lindsay and Graham Wilson, who have clocked up 30 years as councillors between them, have switched sides with the election four months away.

In a joint statement they said: “The policies of the Conservatives, both locally and nationally, are more aligned to our current political views.

“We assure all our residents and local communities that we will continue to serve them to the best of our abilities.”

Lindsay, who has served 11 years on Borough of Poole represents Alderney and Graham, 19 years a councillor, represents Newtown.

Graham said: “We have always tried to serve the community rather than be overly political.”

He said they hoped to be able to continue to do so. Asked if they had considered standing down and forcing a by-election he said: “I don’t think that was a sensible thing to do to cost the council a lot of money.”

Lib Dem group leader Cllr Mike Brooke said he was saddened by their decision, which had implications for committee representation for his group on the hung council.

“We have had issues over the last few years,” he said. “They are in breach of our code of conduct and our standing orders.”

Borough of Poole has 42 councillors of which 21 are now Conservative, 16 Liberal Democrat, four Poole People and one UKIP.