Northern Ireland

Ballymena-born former Tory MP backs Labour

Mark Logan had been a Conservative MP until Thursday’s dissolving of Parliament

Mark Logan has quit the Tories and plans to join the Labour party
Mark Logan, who has quit the Conservatives and plans to join the Labour party. (UK Parliament/PA)

A Co Antrim-born ex-Conservative MP has said he plans to join Labour ahead of the General Election, after claiming his former party were now “unrecognisable” from when he joined.

Mark Logan, who ahead of the dissolving of Parliament on Thursday represented the Bolton North East constituency for the Tories, said he was planning to vote Labour as Sir Keir Starmer’s party now offered “centrist politics”.

Mr Logan was born in Ballymena, and in 2017 stood as a Conservative candidate in East Antrim.

In 2019 he was elected as the Conservative MP for Bolton North East by a margin of just 378 votes, and was later appointed as a parliamentary private secretary for the Northern Ireland Office.

He was among a wave of government ministers to resign in 2022 over allegations then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson had knowledge of complaints over the conduct of Tory deputy chief whip Chris Pincher.

Mr Logan, who is not standing in July’s General Election, said of his backing of Labour in a BBC interview that the time had come to “bring back optimism into British public life”.

He said he has now applied to join Labour.

A Conservative spokesperson said the party’s association “wanted him deselected for inactivity and his failure to be present in Bolton for extended periods of time”.