A GREEN party election candidate defected to Labour just hours after the vote closed.

Victoria Weaver stood for the Green Party in the Colchester Council by-election in Shrub End last week, which was won by Conservative Vic Flores.

But hours after polling closed, Miss Weaver joined the Labour party and she believes all left-wing voters should be united under one party.

Miss Weaver, who received the least votes in the by-election, said: "It has been a long-term change for me where I have realised I am coming round to the Labour point of view.

"It started after the General Election where I saw how Jeremy Corbyn got such a massive movement even though he didn't win.

"Over the next few months I have got more and more convinced.

"I think the Green Party is fighting against the popular Corbyn movement and it is really hard for them to trip up Labour in some areas.

"In some places in Colchester, like in Castle ward, the left wing vote is split between Labour and the Greens and Labour and voters all need to get behind Labour."

Miss Weaver, who was a candidate to stand for the Green in the General Election but lost out to Mark Goacher, said she has aspirations to stand for election as an MP and for council seats in the future.

She said: "There is a rule which says you have to be a member for a year before you can be a candidate so next year's borough council elections will be too early.

"But I want to in the future and I hope to stand to be an MP."

Leader of Colchester Council's Labour group Tim Young said: "I am delighted Victoria has joined the Labour Party.

"She is a highly committed, young, political activist who shares our beliefs in social justice, equality of opportunity and caring for the environment.

"We look forward to working with Victoria to oppose austerity and campaign against further cuts to public services both here in Colchester and across the country.”