A Bolton councillor who shocked her Labour colleagues by leaving them earlier this year to become an Independent has now joined the Conservatives.

Cllr Shamim Abdullah, also known as Rosie, left the Labour group suddenly last February and has represented Rumworth on Bolton Council as an Independent ever since.

She has now announced she is joining the ruling Conservative group in a move which could have wide ranging ramifications for the control of Bolton Council.

Cllr Abdullah said: “After a period of reflection I have decided today to join the Bolton Conservative Group on Bolton Council.

“I am passionate about the area I represent Rumworth and the wider borough of Bolton.

“I have seen how hard Bolton Conservatives have been working to get the town moving and improve areas like Rumworth and I would like to join them in that campaign and whilst I might not agree with everything they do nationally I know locally they are a great team. 

“Bolton Conservatives are a diverse group of dedicated people genuinely determined to make a difference and I am happy join Martyn Cox and his team in trying to make our area a better place to live, work and study.”

The Bolton News: Power at Bolton Town Hall has been finely balanced since the last local electionsPower at Bolton Town Hall has been finely balanced since the last local elections (Image: Newsquest)

No party currently has overall control of Bolton Council, with the Conservatives the largest party with 23 councillors, ahead of Labour with 19.

Cllr Abdullah’s decision brings the number of Tories up to 24, still short of the 31 needed to control the authority outright.

This comes with a crucial byelection set to take place in Rumworth on September 15 to replace Labour’s Cllr Ebrahim Aida who is stepping down and with both major parties are set to vie for a majority at next year’s all out elections.

Conservative leader Cllr Cox said: “I’m delighted that Rosie has joined our group.

“Cllr Abdullah is highly respected on the council as an able and dedicated councillor who is a huge asset to Rumworth and the people she supports, and we are very proud to have her as part of our diverse team. 

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“Bolton Conservatives are determined to offer the people of Bolton a real alternative to Labour.

“We have now seen defections of councillors from the Labour Party, Horwich and Blackrod First and the Liberal Democrats to Bolton Conservatives.

“We are humbled by this support as rededicate ourselves to fighting for communities across Bolton and in regenerating the town.”