Just hours after former Labour MP Bob Marshall-Andrews announced plans to defect to the Lib Dems ahead of the General Election in June, Tim Farron’s party could receive another boost as two unnamed Tory MPs look set to join the Brexit-bashing party.
A Lib Dem source told the Mirror: “There are at least two who could join us, hopefully some more.”
Party insiders are reportedly confident of further defections from pro-Remain MPs, opposed to Theresa May’s Brexit plans.
The Lib Dems have also seen 8,000 new members join the party since the Prime Minister called the General Election on Tuesday, taking the total to 95,000.
The party is also confident of garnering support from frustrated Labour MPs with concerns over Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.
Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael said: “Jeremy Corbyn is never going to be Prime Minister. He can’t lead his own party, let alone our country. The more people see him, the less they want to vote for him.
“That is not just my view. It is the view of the 172 Labour MPs who just last year said they had no confidence in his leadership.
“That’s why senior Labour figures such as Bob Marshall-Andrews are defecting to the Liberal Democrats.
“Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour has waved the white flag on Brexit, is failing as an opposition and has given Theresa May a blank cheque to pursue a divisive hard Brexit.”
The news comes after Mr Marshall-Andrews, a barrister who represented the Medway constituency from 1997 to 2010, blasted the “abject failure of the Labour leadership” following the Brexit referendum.
Labour’s flimsy Brexit arguments and inability to get their views across to voters had “provided a concession of both votes and credibility to Ukip”, according to Mr Marshall-Andrews.
He added: “At present there is manifestly a huge vacuum on the centre-left represented in substantial part by the 48 per cent of the electorate who rejected Brexit and the lies on which it was based.
“To many, including me, there was a forlorn hope that a reformed and radical Labour Party would rise to historic occasion. It has not and shows no real sign of doing so.”
A Labour spokesman said: “Bob Marshall-Andrews has not been a member of the Labour Party for some years.”