A THURROCK Independent councillor has pledged her allegiance to the Conservative party.

Angela Lawrence is currently the councillor for the Belhus ward after being elected in 2016.

But now she has joined the Tories, stating she needed to join a party which "can make decisions for the betterment of all Thurrock residents.

Angela said “Being an elected Councillor for Belhus, I need to work with a party who has the ability to plan ahead and who can make decisions for the betterment of all Thurrock residents".

"The Conservative Party are working hard for everyone. Their clean it, cut it, fill it campaign is making a difference for everyone. They are working hard for the school children in Thurrock opening new schools and improving education; This is fundamental in preventing a generation of forgotten teenagers who have no confidence or ability to make a better future.

"They are helping to tackle the anti-social behaviour we see too often in our streets, not just by punishing people but ensuring they have alternatives that will lead them on to a pathway to a better future. I look forward to working beside them as a Conservative Councillor."

The independent party were far from impressed with the news, admitting Mrs Lawrene has been detached from the party recently.

A Thurrock Independent Party spokesman said: “Cllr Lawrence has been detached from the group for some time. Cllr Lawrence’s departure is therefore in the best interests of both parties. There have been no ill words spoken.

“However, Cllr Lawrence has chosen to join a party which takes thousands of pounds in donations from property developers. A party trying to force 12,000 extra homes onto her ward, South Ockendon.

“I know Cllr Lawrence is a strong Brexit supporter so it is a mystery why she would wish to be a member of a Conservative Party delivering a withdrawal deal condemned by leave and remain voters alike. A Conservative Party with a leader and Prime Minister who Cllr Lawrence has publicly called to be deposed.

“Under this Tory Government and Council the Ockendon Academy has been branded inadequate after a disastrous Ofsted inspection. The Conservative are forcing the disastrous Thames Crossing right past South Ockendon and will close Orsett Hospital.

“Thurrock deserves so much better than the Conservatives. The Thurrock Independents will continue to fight to stop the Conservatives wrecking this borough.”

But leader of the Conservative party in Thurrock, councillor Rob Gledhill, welcomed the news.

He said: “It’s great to have Angela join the Conservative Group and we all look forward to working with her.

"Increasingly UKIP and Independent Members are seeing that the only way to keep Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party from running Thurrock, or the country, is to support the Conservatives.

"Angela is the third Thurrock Independent to join us this year - my hope is to see more of them come to help us turn the borough around and not run it into the ground as some of the old school Labour councillors seem intent on doing.”