Liberal ousted after 30 years

Councillor Stephen Shing, centre, with fellow Lib Dems Tony Seabrook, left, and Andy Watkins

Councillor Stephen Shing, centre, with fellow Lib Dems Tony Seabrook, left, and Andy Watkins

First published in News by

County councillor who had his Liberal Democrat membership revoked says he still does not know why.

Stephen Shing, East Sussex County Council ward member for Polegate, Willingdon and East Dean, said he was not told why his 30-year career as a Liberal Democrat councillor had come to an end.

He was told in June his membership was being revoked after a regional tribunal ruled "his conduct indicates a material disagreement with the fundamental values and objectives of the party".

The tribunal also said Mr Shing had "by his conduct brought the party into disrepute and was likely to bring the party into disrepute".

Mr Shing appealed against this decision but this was rejected in August.

The married father-ofthree, who is now an independent county councillor, said: "If I brought the party into disrepute, why doesn't the party tell me what I have done wrong?

"I and my family have not been treated properly.

This has been going on for nearly two years. Why have I been isolated from the Lib Dems? I don't understand.

"The public want to know and if I have done something wrong, I am happy to face it, but I don't think I have."

Coun Rob Slater, Lib Dem member for Langney ward at Eastbourne Borough Council, said: "I have known Stephen for a number of years and he is a good friend. He has always been an excellent ambassador for the people of Eastbourne and Willingdon as well as the Liberal Democrat party.

"I shall be seeking answers at a special meeting of the Eastbourne Liberal Democrat executive next week. It is my hope the party will see sense, realise they have made a dreadful mistake and reinstate Stephen as a member of the Liberal Democrats as well as issue a full apology to him."

However, Mike Simpson, the chairman of the South East Region Liberal Democrats, said: "This has been a long running incident.

"There have been a number of reports, all of which Mr Shing has seen and he has had the opportunity to respond to them.

"I don't want to get into an argument with him and this is an internal party matter. He has been treated according to the rules."

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