CONSERVATIVES in Bury South are beginning the fightback after the shock defection of their former MP Christian Wakeford.

Mr Wakeford shocked the political world on Wednesday, as revealed first by the Bury Times, when he crossed the floor of the House of Commons to join the Labour Party.

He told constituency party chairman David Nuttall, in his resignation letter that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's administration had "only made the struggles" of his residents worse.

Bury North MP James Daly said he was "beyond disappointed" at his stablemate's announcement.

Mr Wakeford has also faced calls to spark a by-election over his move - a policy he is said to support after co-sponsoring a Commons bill to that effect.

Now Bury South Conservatives have issued a statement - responding to Mr Wakeford's defection - and pledging a 'day of action' to reinvigorate their campaigning.

The statement reads: "We understand that, like us, you will be shocked and disappointed by the news yesterday that Christian Wakeford MP has decided to defect to the Labour Party.

"At the last General Election, the Conservatives won Bury South on the back of a promise to get Brexit done. A promise we kept.

"We will continue to work for the people of Bury South as we build back better from the pandemic and get on with the job of levelling up across the whole country.

"With this in mind, Bury North and South Conservative Association and the MP for Bury North, James Daly, will be ramping up our campaigning efforts to ensure that our area is represented by the Conservatives once more at the earliest possible opportunity.

"As such, we would like to invite you to join our Unsworth Action Day on Saturday, January 22, meeting at the Sir Robert Peel pub at 10:30am.

"It would be fantastic to see as many people there as possible. Conservativism in Bury South is here to stay, and your support would be greatly appreciated as we take the fight to Labour and their newly-anointed MP for Bury South."