Monday, 11 July 2011

Medway LibDems strike back... Again... Unnecessarily

Just when I thought all that could be said about the subject last week a letter from Alan Jefferies, Lib Dem exec member and former chairman has written to the Kent Messenger on the subject. (Page 34 of the Medway KM)

The letter, in short, calls into question Councillor Stamp's actions during the Standards committee investigation over his allegations against Councillors Ruparel and Sutton.

Mr Jefferies, in a reminiscent statement to his comments posted on the KM website ( accuses Councillor Stamp of breaking the rules of the investigation and discussing the matter with the press to gain political points whilst his Lib Dem colleagues stayed silent and suffered political damage. Mr Jefferies also is horrified that he has also stepped up to sit on the Standard's committee and says that Councillor Stamp has broken the rules and the public will have no confidence in him and should resign.

This is a pretty firm letter that rises several points.
The main being the accusation of wrong doing by Councillor Stamp. This has been a very public and open split that has damaged the local party in a very Asquith- Lloyd George way and locally it may take years to heal. This complaint has been at the heart of it and yes Councillors Ruparel and Sutton did not release their side of the story but according to Councillor Stamp's statements in the above link, he followed the rules and all the information in his press releases was readily available elsewhere.

This may be another one for the Standard's committee to hold an investigation into the legitimacy of these accusations. I personally think that his being on the committee at this time is a bad strategic move as these accusations fly around and he has an outstanding inquiry into his claim Councillor Juby- our most senior Lib Dem councillor- made Homophobic comments.

I do disagree that Councillor Stamp should resign as a Councillor or that he has lost the support of the public who so emphatically elected him a couple of months ago. To be brutally honest I don't think many of the electorate are interested in cross party squabbles and their results, they want good schools, regular refuse collections etc...
A Bi-election at this time would serve no one well and would be a royal waste of time and money. Turn out would be poor too and would probably return a similar result.
We lost by some way, so I believe this event probably had little impact on the vote. (Councillor Ruparel didn't stand) and we lost as part of a national trend that saw us ripped to shreds. The local party has not yet recovered from the losses nor to my knowledge come up with a solution for rectifying the rout. Could we face another drubbing that could see Councillor Stamp reelected?


I don't blame Mr Jefferies for writing the letter, he raises some valid points and clearly feels personally aggrieved by the whole thing - For himself, his friends and the party. Also if it had happened to my wife or good friends Dave, Caroline or Caz I would have done the same and fought their corner in a similar vain and pursued him like Ahab to the end of both of our political careers. However from a party political point of view all it has done is reopen the wounds.

To conclude; the matter should now be laid to rest, it is doing no one any favours though I do believe an investigation is warranted or even a brief referral just so this matter can be left behind with no recourse for either party.

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