by Stephen Tall on March 12, 2008
Andy Sloan, who stood for the Lib Dems as a prospective MP in 2005 and had been a councillor in East Hull since 2006, has defected to the Tories.
A fortnight ago he voted against the Lib Dem council group’s proposed budget, proposing an amendment to increase gully cleaning, and launched a fiercely personal assault on Lib Dem leader Carl Minns, accusing him of being “tantamount to criminal” in his criticism of Labour’s handling of last year’s floods. He had resigned from the Lib Dem cabinet the month before citing personal reasons.
Update (11am, 12/3/08): I’ve just been sent the following press statement by the Lib Dem Yorkshire and Humber region:
On 3rd March 2008, the Executive Committee of the Yorkshire and the Humber Region Liberal Democrats voted to suspend Cllr Andy Sloan’s membership of the Liberal Democrat party, pending discussion of a motion to expel him from the party.
Complaints were received by party officials alleging that Cllr Sloan had brought himself and the Liberal Democrats into disrepute by launching an unprecedentedly vicious, personal attack on councillor colleagues in Hull, in particular Cllr Carl Minns.
A spokesman for the Yorkshire and Humber Region Liberal Democrats said:
“As a liberal party we believe that councillors should be free to speak out on the issues that matter. But we cannot stand by whilst one rogue councillor uses his position to make personal attacks against people who are supposed to be his colleagues.”
“Furthermore, Cllr Sloan had plenty of opportunities to raise his points about the council budget in numerous Lib Dem group meetings. He didn’t. Instead he chose to attack his colleagues in public without discussing the issue with them first. This is not the behaviour of a team player.”
“Cllr Sloan has been given the opportunity to attend a hearing conducted by the most senior Liberal Democrats in Yorkshire and the Humber on Saturday 29th March in Bradford, where he will be asked to account for his behaviour.”
* Cllr Sloan was elected in Drypool Ward in 2006. Since then he has come under heavy criticism from party colleagues and local residents for regularly failing to attend ward forum, surgery and residents’ association meetings.
* In 2006, Cllr Sloan put his name forward as the Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate for Hull North, but was defeated in a vote of local Lib Dem party members.
* In 2007, Cllr Sloan stood for the Deputy Leadership of the Lib Dem group on Hull City Council, but was heavily defeated.
* In 2007, Cllr Sloan applied to be a Lib Dem Euro MP – but withdrew his application at the last minute in a row over deadlines for paperwork.
* In 2007, Cllr Sloan applied to be the Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate for the Lib Dem held seat of Harrogate and Knaresborough, but failed to meet the standard required for the shortlist.