Councillor quits Lib Dems and joins Tories

Date published: 10 May 2011

Littleborough Lakeside Councillor Peter Evans has left the Liberal Democrats and joined the Conservatives.

Councillor Evans’ decision to leave the group comes just days after the Liberal Democrats suffered terrible losses in the Local Election; however, he insists that this is not the reason for his departure.

Councillor Evans said: “It is difficult to represent residents properly within a fractious group.

“My first duty is to represent the residents the best I can and the only way I can do that is in a party that is organised and not falling out.”

Councillor Evans was keen to highlight that he is not putting any blame on the Leader of the Lib Dems, Councillor Irene Davidson.

He continued: “My first priority is to represent the electorate – not the party, not the council but the electorate.

“I entered politics to try and make a difference and I don’t consider that staying in the Lib Dems can help me achieve that aim.

“I am following my conscience to best represent the people that put me in the post to do the best for them.”

Councillor Evans said his decision to leave now is nothing to do with the election results, he said: “I expected the election result – I could see it coming.”

He said he waited because he didn’t want to show a “lack of integrity” towards his colleague, Rosemary Jones, who was standing in the same ward.

“I didn’t want to show a lack of respect for a colleague I had worked with.

“The election result simply meant my loyalty to Rosemary Jones had been done when it was crucial to her.”

The Leader of the Lib Dems, Councillor Irene Davidson, said she will personally miss Councillor Evans, who had been a “wonderful” support during her recent illness.

She added: “I wish him all the best and I hope it is the right move for him.”

Councillor Evans’ move leaves the Conservative group with 16 seats on Rochdale Council.

The Leader of the group, Councillor Ashley Dearnley, said: “We welcome Peter as a member of our group knowing he will continue to work hard for the people of the borough.”

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