Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said it is a "great shame" that former Tory MP Mark Logan has joined Labour

Mr Logan, who represented Bolton North East for the Conservatives until Parliament was dissolved on Thursday, said he will not stand for re-election but will vote for Labour and join the party.

Mel Stride, the Work and Pensions Secretary, told Sky News he was disappointed by his former colleague’s decision to quit the Tories.

“I’m disappointed, and of course we’re disappointed when those things happen, but the big picture here, and there’s a lot at stake here, over and above what Mark Logan may or may not decide to have done, is the future of our country,” he said.

"And I think that lies at the core of why this election really matters, because what we've got is a choice between a government whose plan is working - we're getting inflation down, jobs are improving, real wages are rising going into the future - or we've got a Labour Party who have no plan at all."

One of his constituents told The Bolton News: "We don't seem to see him much in the community compared to seemingly other MPs.

As campaigning continues, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will visit the North West of England, following an announcement by the Conservatives to crack down on fly-tippers with points on their driving licenses.

Read more: Former MP backs Labour at next general election

Mark Logan: Former MP's defection came after "soul searching"

Sir Keir welcomed Mr Logan’s switch to Labour, saying: “Voters across the country are looking to Labour for change. I am pleased Mark Logan has taken the decision to vote for Labour at this upcoming General Election.

“After 14 years of Tory failure, voters are returning to Labour because they can see that we are a changed party and back in service of working people. It’s time to stop the chaos, turn the page and rebuild Britain.”

The Conservative Party hit back, with a spokesperson saying: “It’s notable that Mark Logan has defected to a party he can’t even name a single policy of.

“We wish Mark Logan well with the Labour Party – a party that has no plan for the country and would take us back to square one.

“We will select a new candidate in due course.

“The people of Bolton North East now have the choice to vote to stick with the plan by choosing bold action for a safer, more prosperous future with the Conservatives, or go back to square one with Keir Starmer and the same old Labour.”