Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Liberal Democrat Councillor defects to Labour in Liverpool

Councillor Ian Jobling, who I have always had a lot of time for, since his days as the Chair of the Local Area Committee for Everton, Picton and Kensington and Fairfield, has today officially defected to Labour in Liverpool.

Ian, who represents the Picton ward, joined the Labour Party this week and cut up his Liberal Democrat membership card, because he is desperately unhappy with the programme of spending cuts imposed by the Conservative/LibDem Coalition Government. Ian has until today sat on Merseyside Police Authority and was particularly unhappy with proposed cuts to Police spending, given, he said, the commitments made by the LibDems in their pre-election manifesto.

The news has been picked up across the media. The BBC have it here and the Liverpool Echo here

Ian has always enjoyed a good relationship with all of the councillors in Liverpool and I hope and trust that this move will not generate the bitterness that defections usually engender. I know that he had already announced his intention not to seek re-election as a LibDem councillor a few weeks before he took the decision to join the Labour Party, and that he has not been promised anything as a result of this defection. That is not to say that he may or may not wish to throw his hat in the ring to become a Labour candidate in future local government elections, taking his chances with all of our other many candidates (we have about 60 who have been authorised to compete for the chance to stand in 30 seats in the city).

I also know that Ian stands to lose money as a result of making this move now and not just sitting out the rest of his term on the LibDem back benches as he has been obliged to come off the Police Authority, his place having been a LibDem appointment which he will not now be entitled to. This is as clear a case of principled action as we are likely to see.

I know from talking to him that having been a member of the Liberal Party and then the LibDems since he was a teenager, this will not have been a decision taken lightly or with ease. Ian clearly feels unable to stay in and support a Party that is acting so far away from its mandate or the wishes of its members as expressed at so many conferences etc in the past.

I wish him all the best in his new Party, there have been a lot of murmurings of approval and support from the Labour Party, both within the Labour Group and within the wider Party as the news has come out and I am sure he will receive a warm welcome from us all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

well done that man at, a man that has the courage of his convictions, shame on those who have not seen the light.......