SALISBURY'S former MP, and stalwart Conservative, Robert Key has revealed that he has voted against his own party in today's General Election.

Mr Key, who held the city seat for 27 years, has given his vote to Liberal Democrat candidate Victoria Charleston because he is "very concerned by the shift to extremism of the Labour left and the Tory right" and wants to "help reverse that trend".

He added that he remains a "paid-up member" of the Conservative Party, and is only "lending" his vote to the Lib Dems for this election.

“It has been a very difficult decision for me,” he said, “but I haven’t changed my politics.

“I’m still a paid-up member of the Conservatives, but I have lent my vote to Victoria Charleston, who is a very impressive candidate, for a number of reasons.

“I frankly don’t think Boris Johnson is a fit and proper person to be Prime Minister.

“I believe strongly that it’s a disastrous decision to withdraw from the EU when we know now just how much poorer everybody in the country will be, and how weak our position in the world will become.

“I am ashamed that under a Conservative government we now live in Food Bank Britain.

“We are immensely proud of the Trussell Trust in Salisbury, but it’s shaming that in one of the richest countries in the world, thousands and thousands of people are dependent on charity to live.

“And fourthly, I am very concerned by the shift to extremism of the Labour Left and the Tory Right.

“I know that most people who used to vote for me in Salisbury were very moderate, middle-of-the-road, not ideological extremists like Boris and his gang who despise people like me.”

Mr Key said it would be “very interesting to see what happens” to his successor, John Glen. “An awful lot of people in Salisbury are doing the same as me.

“I don’t want to make life hard for him. This is not me being anti John Glen, it’s me being anti Boris Johnson, and John is sadly a victim of that.”

In response to the news, the Conservative's candidate for Salisbury, and incumbent MP, John Glen said: "Robert Key gave many years of dedicated service as Salisbury’s constituency MP and I have always sought to follow his example in that regard.

"However his pro EU position is well known and I am saddened that he does not recognise the commitment made by the Conservative Party to invest in our local schools, police and NHS.

"We are only able to do that when we have delivered on the democratic outcome of the Referendum. I continue to wish him well in his retirement."