The Ashfield Reform UK MP now becomes the party's first representative in parliament, promising to "speak out" for people "who feel that they're not being listened to".

Former Conservative deputy chair Lee Anderson has defected to Reform UK, becoming the party's first MP in the Commons.

Mr Anderson, who secured the seat of Ashfield in 2019, was kicked out of the parliamentary Conservative Party for refusing to apologise after alleging that London mayor Sadiq Khan was controlled by "Islamists".

During an event in central London, Mr. Anderson announced his defection, stating that while some of his colleagues advocated for his reinstatement, others accused him of Islamophobia.

"a lot of soul searching" on his "political journey", but concluded: "Somebody has to make a stand."

"It is no secret that I've been talking to my friends in Reform for a while," added the MP. "And Reform UK has offered me the chance to speak out in parliament on behalf of millions of people up and down the country who feel that they're not being listened to.

"People will say that I've took a gamble. And I'm prepared to gamble on myself, as I know from my mailbag how many people in this country support Reform UK and what they have to say.

"And like millions of people up and down the country, all I want is my country back."