Fourth Solihull Lib Dem councillor defects to Greens in protest
A Solihull Liberal Democrat has become the fourth councillor to defect to the Green Party in disapproval at the party’s performance in the Coalition Government.
Elmdon councillor Jean Hamilton has joined the Greens, which means the party now has seven seats on Solihull Council, one more than Labour. She follows councillors Howard Allen, Andy Hodgson and Tim Hodgson who have defected since 2011.
Councillor Hamilton said: “I have been extremely disappointed with many decisions agreed to by the Liberal Democrats in coalition. Decisions made on vital issues such as education, the NHS, welfare support and the environment, have shocked and upset me.”
She said with national and European elections approaching she felt she could no longer campaign for policies she does not agree with. Despite the defections, leader of the Solihull Lib Dem group, Councillor Ian Hedley, claimed he had “no concerns” over losing more local members.
“I’m obviously sorry that Jean has gone. The positive for us is that we remain the official opposition at Solihull Council,” said Councillor Hedley, who claimed the party had achieved much of what they set out to do in government. “You’ve got to look at the difference at being in opposition when you have free rein and opposition when you are in government. A coalition means you don’t always get it your own way.”
The Tories remain the ruling party of Solihull Council, with 28 councillors, while the Lib Dems are in opposition with nine and Labour has dropped to fourth place with just six.
Read the full story here: http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/news/local-news/solihull-liberal-democrat-fourth-defect-6732964.