Published: 14:29, 05 November 2019
| Updated: 16:38, 05 November 2019
A former Labour parliamentary candidate has defected and joined the Conservative party.
Announcing his decision, the prison officer said: “Gordon Henderson and I have not always seen eye to eye on subjects of importance, but we have always been able to respectfully disagree and debate issues in a mature manner.
"He has maintained an open and welcoming door to myself and other union representatives at the three Island prisons and has in recent years raised many issues on behalf of my colleagues in the Prison Service.
"More recently Gordon has listened to our concerns raising the issue of prison staff retirement age, pushed the issue of ensuring staff have the correct personal protective equipment and supported my work with the Prison Officers Association in delivering better pay for staff.
"Gordon has been true to his word over the Brexit debate."
Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP, Gordon Henderson, said: "I am delighted that Mike decided to join the Conservative Party and look forward to working with him as we fight the upcoming election together.
"It takes some courage to leave one political party and join another. However, I have known Mike for some time and I know that one thing he does not lack is courage."