George Murphy is seeking the NDP nomination for an upcoming provincial byelection. ((CBC) )

A consumer advocate who resigned from Newfoundland and Labrador's Liberal party over a controversial hiring has signed up with the NDP for a forthcoming byelection.

George Murphy, who ran for the Liberals in the 2003 provincial election, is seeking the NDP nomination for a byelection in Conception Bay East-Bell Island.

"The time is right for me to do it," said Murphy, a longtime Liberal volunteer who quit the party last week to protest the hiring of Craig Westcott as the communications director for the Opposition caucus. Westcott, who ran as a Conservative in the 2008 federal election, has been a vociferous critic of Premier Danny Williams.

Murphy, who had applied for the same job, said he wants to redirect his political energies in a new arena. Murphy has had a high profile in recent years as a consumer watchdog on gas prices.

"I've had enough of tearing down, being torn down, and I've gone to a place where I can actually start to help build something great," Murphy said Monday.

No date has yet been set for the Conception Bay East-Bell Island byelection, which will elect a successor to former cabinet minister Dianne Whalen, who died last month after a lengthy battle with cancer.