By Aubrey Allegretti, political reporter
Tory grandee Ann Widdecombe has defected to the Brexit Party to stand as a candidate in the upcoming Euro elections.
The former minister, who served as a Conservative MP for 13 years, said she hoped the new outfit led by Nigel Farage would "sweep to victory" and send a "clear message" to her old party and Labour.
Writing in the Daily Express, she said: "I am standing for the Brexit Party in order that I may campaign vigorously and convince my fellow voters that this time it is imperative to fire a very loud warning shot across the bows of the parties they would normally support."
It comes after a former Labour election candidate was revealed as a candidate for Change UK, which is branding itself as the home of the "Remain alliance" in the poll on 23 May.
Another cohort of MEPs are on track to be elected after Theresa May twice asked for Brexit to be delayed because she could not get a deal through the UK parliament.
Ms Widdecombe said she hoped Labour would lose in its heartlands and the Conservatives in the shires to send a message that "we want you to just get on with it".
"I will be voting Conservative in the local elections and I remain a member of the party but when central office reads this I expect they will kick me out," she added.