DUDLEY North MP Ian Austin has landed a devastating blow to his former party by telling people to vote Conservative.

Mr Austin was the Labour MP for the constituency since 2005 until he resigned from the party earlier this year.

He has been a long-time critic of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and, in the wake of the resignation of party deputy leader Tom Watson for what he said were personal reasons rather than political ones, Mr Austin told the BBC: "If Tom thought that Jeremy Corbyn was fit to lead our country and fit to form a government, then he would have been in that Cabinet. Would he really be standing down?"

Mr Austin, added: "It's really come to something when I tell decent, traditional, patriotic Labour voters that they should be voting for Boris Johnson at this election."

Mr Austin also said he feels Jeremy Corbyn is not fit to be Prime Minister or Labour leader.

Unsurprisingly the Conservatives welcomed Mr Austin's comments.

Conservative chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rishi Sunak MP, said: “This is a truly devastating indictment of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

“Ian Austin has been a Labour MP for 14 years so he knows Corbyn better than most.

“This comes straight after the party’s second most powerful person quit because he could no longer support Corbyn, in another hammer blow to his authority."

Mr Austin has also confirmed he is not going stand for re-election when voters go the polls on Thursday December 12.

Labour are yet to select a candidate for Dudley North but former Dudley Council leader and Stourbridge parliamentary candidate Cllr Pete Lowe said Mr Austin has betrayed Labour voters.

Cllr Lowe said: "He has betrayed thousands of Labour voters who have put their support in him, it just shows how far on his political journey he has gone.

"Boris Johnson offers nothing for the people of Dudley North."