A FORMER council candidate in Chorley has defected from the Liberal Democrats to Labour.

And Stefan Krizanac says Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle played a key role in his decision to swap parties.

Mr Krizanac, a borough councillor in Warrington, caused controversy two years ago when he moved to Chorley but retained his Cheshire seat.

He also failed in a bid to secure the Chorley North West ward for the Lib Dems earlier this month, coming fourth behind a Conservative, Green and the winning Labour candidate, Aaron Beaver.

Outlining his motivation for switching sides, Cllr Krizanac said he used to be an admirer of the late Labour leader John Smith.

He added: "I have always been Labour in the heart and when John Smith was alive I admired the guy, I think he was the best Labour had. But when John died and Tony Blair took over it just destroyed Labour.

"I met with Lindsay Hoyle, I met him at the local elections in Chorley, and had a brief conversation with him."

Council leaders in Warrington have confirmed he will sit as an independent. He has also missed out of the chance to stand as a Labour candidate there in 2020.