A BLACKHEATH councillor has resigned from the Lib Dems to join Lewisham Labour.

Councillor Amanda De Ryk, first elected in 2010, said in a statement: "It would be dishonest of me to go forward into the next election as a Liberal Democrat candidate with the deep and serious reservations that I have about the coalition government.

"I do not feel that the coalition has reduced the economic dangers faced by the country, one of its most stated claims. Worse, the coalition’s reform of the welfare system seems ideologically aimed to disproportionately affect the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in our society."

She added: "I came into politics to give something back to the community and I feel that as a Labour councillor I am best placed to help with the things I care about most - saving our local hospital, raising the standard of social housing and improving the daily experience of those who live in our borough."

Lewisham East MP Heidi Alexander, praised the councillor for her "courage" while Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock claimed it was part of "growing disaffection with government policies".

Last summer, Grove Park's Councillor David Britton cited similar reasons when defecting from the Tories to Labour.

The change means Labour now has 43 councillors compared to 10 for the Lib Dems and just one each for the Greens and Conservatives.