STROUD Labour has rubbished claims made about a “deceptive” video which shows a former Tory voter explaining why they switched parties.

Political blogger Guido Fawkes highlighted a video posted by Dr Simon Opher who is hoping to become MP for the town.

In the video, Milly Hill, who was elected to Stroud District Council (SDC) as a Labour councillor for Cam East earlier this month, says she had been a Conservative voter all of her life.

Gazette Series: Stroud Labour Party says the video was recorded before Milly Hill decided to become a councillor. FREE TO USE FOR ALL PARTNERS. CREDIT: Stroud Labour

 “But I think the party has really changed, and I think the last 14 years has done some real damage to the country,” she said.

Guido Fawkes goes on to say that the fact she is a Labour councillor was omitted.

However, a Labour spokesperson said the video was recorded before Cllr Hill had decided to stand to become a councillor earlier this month.

Former Stroud MP David Drew (Stroud Central), who is currently a councillor at county and district level, said he was the one who converted her to join his party.

“I was very pleased that she went on to say she wanted to be a councillor,” he said.

“The video was done quite some time ago. It was done before she put herself up for election.” While Cllr Hill says the issue is a “total non-story” and that she has nothing to hide.

“I don’t know how it has made the airwaves but it’s nonsense,” she said.

“There’s nothing strange about my situation at all. It’s just been massively blown out of all proportion and misinterpreted.

“The whole thing is absolute rubbish but it is febrile times.”

A Labour Party spokesperson said when Milly Hill changed from Conservative to Labour she wasn’t even considering standing for district council.

“It was only when we went and asked her if she would consider standing she was persuaded,” a spokesperson said.

“It was only then that she decided to put her hat in the ring. That was some time after she had made the video.

“The video was done, it was entirely factual, she had voted Conservative in the past, she felt Labour better represented her values and what she believed in and would do a better job. So she’s voting for Simon and Labour this time.

“She was slightly surprised to get elected but it’s a tribute to her and to the strength of feeling around Cam that she did. And she has already made a really good start as a councillor over the last four weeks.”

But Lindsey Green (C, Berkeley Vale), who leads the Conservative group at SDC, said the omission of her status as a Labour councillor on the video is deceptive.

“It is extremely disappointing to see such tactics being used and very deceptive to the electorate.”

The candidates expected to contest the Stroud seat at the general election on July 4 are Conservative Siobhan Baillie, Liberal Democrat George James, Green Party’s Pete Kennedy, Reform UK’s Christopher Lester and Labour’s Simon Opher.

The official list of candidates will be published by June 7.