ASHFIELD Liberal Democrat leader Jason Zadrozny says he ‘would rather give up politics than jump ship’ as rumours circulate he wanted to defect to Labour.
His comments come amid claims by the Ashfield Labour Party that he had approached senior Labour figures and enquired about joining.
Secretary of Ashfield Labour Party Jim Aspinall said Coun Zadrozny had made ‘secret approaches’ to himself, Gloria De Piero MP, Nottinghamshire County Council Labour group leader Alan Rhodes and Ashfield District Council leader John Knight.
Said Mr Aspinall: “He said he was struggling with the Coalition policies and felt he could not defend them on the streets of Ashfield.”
He added that on the basis of how these talks with senior members had gone, Coun Zadrozny had opted not to join.
There were also rumours on social networking site Facebook, although a spokesman from the East Midlands Labour Party said no membership application had been received.
Denying the claims, Coun Zadrozny, who represents Sutton North, said: “It’s not true. I have never asked to join the Labour Party. I’d rather give up politics than jump ship.
“Labour Party politics are so far away from my own. I don’t know if it’s malicious or stupid. I don’t know what they hope to get out of it.”
Coun Zadrozny, who sits on both Ashfield district and Nottinghamshire county councils, said that he had been in meetings with members of the Labour and Conservative parties, as well as the Independents, to discuss the budget - but these were a matter of routine.
He said the rumours had ‘damaged’ his trust for Labour Party members in Ashfield.