Suffolk MP Dr Dan Poulter formally "crossed the floor" in the House of Commons on Wednesday as he took up his new seat directly behind Sir Keir Starmer on the Labour benches.

The Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP shocked British politics on Saturday when he announced he was leaving the Conservatives to join Labour.

His switch - prompted by his concerns about the future of the NHS - was the first topic to be discussed during Prime Minister's Questions.

East Anglian Daily Times: Dr Dan Poulter sat behind Keir Starmer at PMQs.Dr Dan Poulter sat behind Keir Starmer at PMQs. (Image: House of Commons)

Labour leader Sir Keir opened PMQs by welcoming Dr Poulter to the Labour benches.

He said: “I’d also like to welcome the member for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich to these benches.

"After nearly two decades as a Tory politician, and an NHS doctor, he’s concluded that if you care about the future of our country and our NHS that it’s time for change. It’s time for this changed Labour Party.

“As of today, he’s our newest Labour MP, but I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that I hope he loses that title on Friday.

"When a lifelong Tory and doctor says that the only cure for the NHS is a Labour Government isn’t the time the Prime Minister admits he has utterly failed?”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak responded: “I’m glad to actually see (Dr Poulter).

"That’s because he recently pointed out that residents of his local Labour Council (Ipswich Borough) are, and I quote in his words, charged much more in council tax but in return receive lower quality services.

“He’s been wrong about some things recently but on that point, he’s absolutely right and this week, people everywhere should vote Conservative.”

Dr Poulter's criticisms of Ipswich council were also brought up by the town's other MP Tom Hunt this week - they had worked together to try to get improvements in the town.

Back in February in his regular column Dr Poulter did look at the performance of councils that operated in his constituency.

He was critical of Ipswich Council - but also expressed concerns about the Conservative-controlled county council.