A PROSPECTIVE politician who stood twice for the Liberal Democrats in Hillingdon has chosen to switch allegiances and join the Conservative party.
Labhaya Chamdal, who is more commonly known as Roy Chamdal, joined the Lib Dems just before the 2006 local elections.
He made a name for himself at the Townfield ward by-election in July last year when Conservatives accused him of distributing leaflets claiming he was in pole position for victory.
The Gazette was contacted today (Friday) by Manor Councillor Douglas Mills who informed us of the impending defection but refused to name the person in question.
He said only: "We have been approached by a leading member of the Hillingdon Liberal Democrats election team who has confirmed his resignation and wishes to work with us. This is because he believes the Conservatives are the future for Hillingdon."
However, Lib Dem leader Councillor Mike Cox - who is one of the two members of the party on Hillingdon Council - had no hesitation in naming Mr Chamdal as the defector.
He said: "When Labhaya Chamdal stood for the Liberal Democrats in the Townfield by election in July 2008 he and his family worked extremely hard and beat the Conservatives into third place.
"An achievement at the time he relished. It is a great shame for Roy and his family that he has now chosen to jump ship.
"In all the years Roy has been involved in the Liberal Democrats, he has been consistently critical of the Hillingdon Conservative group. When Roy phoned me to inform me of his decision he told me he now wanted to change the Conservatives from within.
"Knowing Roy as I do he's always up for a challenge, so I wish him the best of luck with this. On a personal note Roy and his family have been friends of mine for many years, so this event is a particularly hurtful experience.
"On a practical level it will change nothing as Roy has not been actively involved since Townfield."
Mr Chamdal, who lives in the Manor ward, intially stood for a South Ruislip seat in 2006 and came fifth with 1,106 votes behind the winning Tory trio of Shirley Harper-O'Neill, Alan Kauffman and Judy Kelly.
On the death of Councillor Norman Nunn-Price a by-election was called for Townfield and Mr Chamdal came second with 506 votes to winning Labour candidate Tony Eginton.
In the wake of the leaflet row Councillor Andrew Retter (Con) had offered to pay £50 to a charity of Mr Chamdal's choice if he finished second or higher.