Kiron Reid resigns from Lib Dems to run as independent police commissioner in Merseyside

by Stephen Tall on October 21, 2012

Kiron Reid, three-times Lib Dem parliamentary candidate and a councillor in Liverpool for a decade, has resigned from the party to enable him to run for the post of Police and Crime Commissioner as an independent. He’s explained his decision in an open letter on his website:

It is with regret that I resign from the Liberal Democrats. I joined the Liberal Party in May 1987 and have been a member with the same membership number ever since. Despite the party’s current problems I did not want to leave and had no intention of falling out with the Party. But I believe that the post of Police and Crime Commissioner should not be party political. I have argued this internally for more than a year, with senior party officers locally five month ago, and publicly since late August. Unfortunately some senior figures locally decided that they wanted to put up a Liberal Democrat candidate. I am standing as an Independent in the election on Merseyside and therefore have to leave.

Though a reluctant resignee, Kiron levels some strong criticism against the party leadership:

At the same time I work in a University and I sit surrounded by the destruction of the British tradition of University education. The Labour Government started this but the Coalition Government have accelerated it. I do not doubt that the Liberal Democrats have tried to make the system fairer. There are also some changes happening that are beneficial for students. The system is being destroyed with Nick Clegg’s cooperation. I think Nick Clegg genuinely believes that he has acted in the best interests of the country. I give him credit for the good policies that he has got implemented, on civil liberties and taking the lowest paid workers out of tax. But personally I cannot trust Nick Clegg or recommend any member of the public to vote for him. I also understand that none of this is the fault of hardworking staff in Party headquarters or of the many tireless volunteers up and down the country.

LibDemVoice polled party members on whether Lib Dems should contest the police commissioner elections under the party’s colours a year ago. By a substantial majority, 57% to 24%, our survey showed strong support for official Lib Dem candidates fighting this November’s elections.

* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum, and also writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.