Four Lib Dem councillors quit in protest at party being too pro-European

It’s hard not to wonder, ‘if that’s your reason, why quit only now?’:

Four Burnley Liberal Democrat councillors have quit the party and will stand as independents on Burnley Borough Council.

Gannow ward councillors Charlie Briggs, Neil Mottershead and Mark Payne, as well as Rosehill with Burnley Wood councillor Christine White will now sit on the council as the Burnley and Padiham Independent Party.

They have claimed that they did not agree with the pro-Europe’s party stance on Brexit. [Burnley Express]

One of them went on to complain that the Liberal Democrats are not supporting making Brexit as easy as possible, adding:

Non-metropolitan areas, and especially areas in the north seem to have become irrelevant to the national party. The party is now rightly viewed as a one policy party and has little to sell it to areas that voted decisively for Brexit.

Electricity features more than I’d have expected in the reaction from former Liberal Democrat MP for Burnley, Gordon Birtwistle:

The quartet have been branded as “lower than a snake’s belly” by furious Burnley Lib Dem leader Gordon Birtwistle who accused them of stabbing him and their voters in the back…

He said: “I feel completely betrayed and stabbed in the back by their actions. None of them had the decency to ring me or invite me to any of their meetings to discuss their concerns.

“Instead they held a number of secret meetings in the Lib Dem office in Rosegrove, using our electricity, to conduct their skulduggery.”


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