LIB DEM CONFERENCE: Blow to Norfolk Lib Dems as Norfolk councillor leaves the party
Norfolk Liberal Democrats have been dealt a blow as their party meets in Glasgow after a Broadland councillor has left the movement to become an independent.
Norfolk Liberal Democrats have been dealt a blow as their party meets in Glasgow after a Broadland councillor has left to become an independent.
Nich Starling, said he did not believe one party had the answers anymore, as he drew his 23-year long association with the Liberal Democrats to a close.
He announced his decision on social media, tweeting: 'I'm no longer a Liberal Democrat member. Coalition has seen #LibDems abandon too many principles. I'll now sit as an independent Councillor'
Mr Starling, a former leader of the Liberal Democrats on Broadland District Council representing Taverham North, said he had been thinking about it for a while and had believed the party should 'ditch Nick Clegg'.
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'He is sprouting a message that nobody believes,' he said.
He added that the attacks on the Liberal Democrats at the Conservative Party conference had 'affirmed' his decision to get out.
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'The party is subservient and does nothing about it. It if is so unfair then they should get out. It is weak,' he said.
'First and foremost it is a relief to be out of party politics and to just say what is in the best interests of the local area.'
'I do not believe that one party has the answers anymore. I am not leaving the Liberal Democrats to join another political party.
I believe party politics inhibits people's ability to get things done, particularly at a local level.'
Mr Starling said that he wished his former Liberal Democrat colleagues well.
'I get on very well with the Liberal Democrat group on a personal level. It is their party that has let them down as individuals. They work their socks off. They must feel let down by me. That was not my intention.'
Dan Roper, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Broadland District Council, said it was a 'great shame' and he was an 'excellent councillor'.
But said: 'Nich has been a consistent critic of the national coalition since its inception and from my discussions with him, his decision to leave the Lib Dems is 100pc down to the policies of the national party.
He said it was a 'key factor' that he was not joining or endorsing any other party.
'I do hope there will come a time when we are welcoming him back into the Broadland Lib Dem group,' he added.