In a move which would be unbelievable on any other local authority in the country, the Conservatives on Tower Hamlets borough council have recruited Ahmed Hussain – who was elected to the council as a candidate of Respect – the Unity Coalition, and was a member of the Socialist Workers Party-allied group before his defection. The switch makes the Conservatives the main opposition with eight councillors; the George Galloway-allied Respect group has seven, the Liberal Democrats six and the remaining Respect – the Unity Coalition (SWP) group have three. The ruling Labour group has 27, having picked up one Respect defector before the group split.
As Ted Jeory reports in the East London Advertiser, rumours that SWP group leader Oli Rahman may defect to Labour have taken a jolt after Rahman made a speech attacking the Labour council leadership.
Also as noted in the comments, the recent breakup of the Idle Toad Party has led Barrie Yates to join the Conservatives on South Ribble borough council.