Labour have regained representation on Buckinghamshire County Council and Chiltern District Council after the defection of Cllr Mohammad Bhatti MBE from Conservative to Labour. Bhatti had sat as a Conservative member for the Newtown ward on Chiltern DC since 1999, and for the Chesham East division on the County Council since 2009. He was awarded his MBE a year ago in the 2012 New Year's Honours list.
The reason behind his defection is as yet unknown. It is also somewhat unusual in that he is joining a party that has not been represented on Buckinghamshire CC since 2009 or on Chiltern DC since 1999, meaning he has never had a Labour Party colleague at any point in his political career. The major opposition party on both councils are the Liberal Democrats.
It is highly unlikely he will hold the county division in May - Labour polled just 4.3% of the vote there in 2009, coming behind the Conservatives, Lib Dems, UKIP and the Greens. The district ward looks slightly more competitive with a 16.5% Labour share in 2011, but it is still a very safe Labour area.
Read the forum discussion on this here.