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Former Conservative New Brunswick MP John Herron has decided to run for the Liberal Party in the next federal election.

Mr. Herron had been sitting with former Conservative leader Joe Clark as "independent Progressive Conservatives" in the Commons. He will continue in that capacity until the election is called.

"After careful consideration, I have decided that as a Red Tory, the Martin Liberals represent my values and vision for the future of Canada," Mr. Herron said in a statement.

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"Under the prime minister's leadership, the Liberal Party of Canada has made improving our post-secondary education system a priority and I now have the opportunity to help shape those changes with his team."

He joins former Tory Scott Brison and former Alliance MP Keith Martin on the list of high-profile politicians who have jumped to the Liberals since the new Conservative Party of Canada was formed.

Conservative MP Monte Solberg called Mr. Herron's decision a significant blow to the party, the Conservatives are resilient enough to move ahead without him.

"The fact that they've left before they even knew who we were going to have as a leader or before we even put together a fully formed set of policies tells me that the issue isn't that they're concerned about where we are in the spectrum," he told CBC Newsworld.

"The issue seems to be that things look pretty good for them in a personal sense over on the Liberal side. Maybe they can find their way into cabinet...I'm sure that's what they're looking at."

More to come

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