News from British and Canadian Conservatives

Monday, June 04, 2007

Lib Dem feuds go nuclear

Disputes between senior members of Shepway Lib Dems have been rumbling on for some time now. They first became public back in 2004, with the first attempt to depose Cllr Cufley as leader. Subsequently, the local party split five ways, with Lib Dem councillors defecting to People First, Conservative, Green and Independent. The defections and resignations continued right into this year. Then, rumours surfaced of a plot to oust their PPC after the local elections. As already reported, he resigned. That did not draw a line under the matter - far from it, in fact. We now see local Lib Dems openly campaigning against one another through the local press. I've even received anonymous allegations through the comments on this blog.

First we had local leader Cllr Lynne Beaumont denying the rumours that she had any part in Toby's downfall. In the same edition, Toby made clear that he did not resign willingly and a recently defeated Lib Dem councillor anonymously lent his backing to Beaumont and Carroll. The letters page saw two local Lib Dems' objecting to the way that the party is being run. One, a member for over 40 years, said she was so appalled that she was considering her membership. Another, Troy Scaum, who is a member of the executive, former councillor and defeated candidate last month, spoke from within the executive about the way his colleagues had mistreated Toby.

On Thursday, the complaints stepped up yet another gear. Long serving Lib Dem activist and recently retired councillor, Tessa Caruana, who was first elected in Harbour ward in 1991, announced that she was resigning her membership of the party in protest at the way the leadership had undermined and ousted Toby. She reported that membership had slumped to less than 250. By comparison there are about 1200 Conservative members in Folkestone & Hythe.

I understand that Cowley Street have even been asked to investigate the constituency association, and that the regional party has begun the process. Depending upon the findings, the local leadership could even be removed with a new body appointed by central office to take over the local party. I don't know how likely such an outcome may be, but it is at least entertaining to watch, in the meantime!


Anonymous said...

yet again you have made a fool of yourself, how can someone "anonymously lent his backing to Beaumont and Carroll"

if they are anonymous how can you know who they are!! dimwit!

and by the way your friendship with wicken and Sanger has not gone unoticed. Maybe the next people to resign are Sanger and Gane, we can only hope!

Dan Hassett said...

I don't know who the former councillor is - it's taken from the Herald. Not exactly rocket science now, is it?

I'm not sure why it's any of your business who my friends may be, or why it is that you're taking pops at Lib Dem councillors through my blog. You seem unhealthily obsessive.