A councillor from West Bromwich who defected from the Conservatives to Labour over Building Schools for the Future (BSF) cuts, appeared on the Labour Party conference stage to huge applause.
Elaine Costigan, from Sandwell Council, quit the party after nine schools in her area were told they would receive money, only to be informed a day later that the projects were being scrapped.
"Not one of us affected will ever forget how we felt that day - we were heartbroken," she said. "We were angry and we wanted to fight back. I wanted to fight back as a councillor.
"As a deputy leader in Sandwell, I felt a duty to stand up in my community, and that's why I made the best decision in my life.
"Until Michael Gove took the decision to dash the hopes of my local schools and fail to come and apologise for the mistake he had made, I was a Conservative Party councillor.
"But I stand here today proud to have joined the Labour Party."