THE Portsmouth Lib Dems have been urged to delay choosing a councillor candidate for the city’s Fratton ward at the next local elections until a review into the group’s procedures is carried out.
Councillor Eleanor Scott is up for election in the ward next year and has been told she must decide this week if she wants to stand as a representative for the party locally, which she is a member of.
But Cllr Scott has written a letter to party officials urging them to delay the selection process until the outcome of a review that is to be carried out by the party nationally after she raised grievances about the behaviour of members.
Lib Dem national leader Nick Clegg has made assurances that the internal review will be dealt with thoroughly.
In her letter, Cllr Scott said: ‘For the avoidance of doubt, I am objecting that the Portsmouth Liberal Democrats are pressing ahead with the selection for Fratton this week, ahead of the outcome of the review into the Portsmouth Liberal Democrats that has been commissioned by Tim Farron with the knowledge and support of Nick Clegg (both have written to me personally), and whilst a number of complaints and concerns of mine are still being assessed.
‘The review and the assessment of complaints inevitably concern Portsmouth Liberal Democrats who are scheduled to be part of the approval and selection process, and I believe that it is unfair and inequitable to proceed in these circumstances, given that I am the one who happens to be the ‘sitting councillor’ up for re-election in May.’
Cllr Scott quit the Lib Dem council group earlier this year over its handling of the scandal surrounding Mike Hancock’s conduct. It means she is not aligned to any political group representing the council.
The disgraced Portsmouth South MP admitted in an apology statement last week to forging an ‘inappropriate friendship’ with a female constituent who came to him for help in October 2009.
Cllr Scott added in her letter: ‘In my personal opinion, and in my personal experience, there is still some very poor behaviour going on and some very poor judgement being exercised. I am therefore, according to your own rules, unable to present myself for approval this week.’