AN MP who defected to Labour from the Conservatives has said his choice was months in the making.

Christian Wakeford crossed the floor shortly before Boris Johnson faced questions in the Commons at PMQs. 

Speaking after the tense questioning session, Mr Wakeford explained his choice and said he did not simply decide "this morning" that he would leave the Tories,.

He said: "This isn't a matter of just deciding this morning that I want to be a Labour MP.

"This has been many months in the build up, whether it goes back to issues of free school meals, of Dominic Cummings, over Universal Credit, the cost of living crisis, the Owen Paterson affair and now partygate."

Mr Wakeford's defection stunned many Tories as they watched him join the Labour benches in the Commons around 11.55am today, sitting behind Sir Keir Starmer as he got ready to question Mr Johnson. 

He added: "There's been a lot of build up to this and a lot of soul searching that's taken many sleepless nights.

"But it's ultimately the right decision and I hope my former colleagues can, at least if they don't agree, understand."

Andrew Bowie, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine Tory MP, looked shocked when he was told the news live on television. 

The MP said he was "good friends" with Mr Wakeford, and he initially did not believe the reports were accurate.

After it became clear the defection was happening, Mr Bowie said he would have "counselled him against it" but he could understand his position, adding that the move reflected the strength of feeling among the Tories currently.

The Bury South MP, who was part of the so-called 'Red Wall' of Tories to be elected in 2019, was scathing in his letter to the Prime Minsiter annoucning his defection.

He said the country needs a Government that “upholds the highest standards of integrity and probity”, but told Mr Johnson “both you and the Conservative Party as a whole have shown themselves incapable of offering the leadership and Government this country deserves”.