A Winchester Liberal Democrat who resigned from the party has now joined the Conservative group.

Alexis Fall is the first city councillor in Winchester to switch directly from the Lib Dems to the Conservatives whilst in office.

She joins Adrian Hicks in leaving the party although Cllr Hicks said he will continue to support the Lib Dem group.

The Lib Dems say neither was likely to have been selected to stand again when their term in office expires in May.

Cllr Fall, in a statement said: “Having now experienced eight months of Lib Dem administration in Winchester, led by Cllr Learney I am no longer able to support them.”

Council leader Kelsie Learney said: “Neither of them had been approved as a candidate for the next election in May,” citing health concerns over Cllr Fall.

Their departure is significant as it potentially jeopardises the Lib Dem control of the council.

A by-election was being held tomorrow (THURS) in Oliver’s Battery and Badger Farm.

For full story see tomorrow's Hampshire Chronicle.