Two of Folkestone’s most senior councilors have announced they are quitting the Tories and joining the Liberal Democrats.

Peter Gane has been a councilor for almost 35 years and mayor of Folkestone for 5 years. He will join the Liberal Democrat group on Folkestone and Hythe District Council and Folkestone City Council.

Roger West was also Mayor of Folkestone for two years and was first elected to Folkestone City Council in 2004. He will join the Liberal Democrat group on Folkestone City Council.

Folkestone and Hythe Liberal Democrats chairman Adam Rowledge warmly welcomed the move. Adam said:

“I am delighted that two such experienced advisers have joined the Liberal Democrats here in Folkestone and Hythe. Between them, Peter and Roger have about half a century as councilors and seven years as mayors of Folkestone: it’s quite incredible.

“Locally, people are fed up with David Monk’s conservatives and want to see change and a different approach.

“Nationally, people are tired of being lied to over and over again by Boris Johnson’s Tories and are tired of Damian Collins’ support for his lies.

“Change is coming, and it’s exciting to see.”

Tim Prater, leader of the Liberal Democrat Folkestone and Hythe District Council group, said:

“Over the past three years, Peter Gane has repeatedly and courageously voted against the line of Conservative, UKIP and Independent groups on the District Council. He voted against the development of Princes Parade and voted for a more inclusive committee system to run the Council.

“Peter’s reward for standing up for his principles and standing up for the best interests of the residents of Cheriton was to be unselected by the Conservative Party from his Cheriton District seat.

“Liberal Democrats will always welcome strong local councilors willing to work hard for their region and stand up for local residents.

“I sat on Folkestone Town Council with Peter and Roger. They are both extremely experienced, respected and valued advisors. They are not afraid to work with all parties and are always committed to standing up for the residents they represent.

“So today I’m delighted to welcome Peter and Roger to the Liberal Democrats. We’ve always had a lot in common, including our determination to be great local councilors serving the residents of our neighborhoods. Speaking to them about these days, I’m glad they accepted my invitation to join the Liberal Democrats.