Councillor: Why I quit Lib Dems

Councillor Margaret Salsbury (Liberal Democrat Upperton) SUS-150528-181630001
Councillor Margaret Salsbury (Liberal Democrat Upperton) SUS-150528-181630001

The Liberal Democrat councillor who quit the party last week saying she had been bullied has spoken out.

Margaret Robinson, a councillor for the Upperton area, resigned from the Eastbourne Lib Dems last week saying her complaint about bullying had not been dealt with in a satisfactory manner.

Mrs Robinson said her complaint centred around her wanting to stand in Hampden Park in the forthcoming council elections in May. She said she put her name forward but, following an eight minute phone call with fellow councillor Jim Murray, a Hampden Park councillor since 2011, she decided to lodge a complaint with Eastbourne Lib Dems.

Mrs Robinson said she was not happy with the outcome and appealed to the regional committee, which upheld the original decision by the local panel.

Mrs Robinson said, “My complaint has not been investigated properly. It’s outrageous. I was bullied.

“I can’t stand by and do nothing. It has been truly shocking.

“Stepping down was not an easy decision to make and it has not been nice. I am making a stand.”

Mr Murray said this week he “issued an unreserved apology to Councillor Robinson for the incident”.

He said, “It was never my intention to make her feel uncomfortable but if my actions have been misconstrued in such a way by Councillor Robinson, I can only apologise again publicly as that was never my intention.

“I am, of course, pleased both the Lib Dem group in Eastbourne and the south east region both agreed I made a genuine mistake that was out of character. I have long regarded Councillor Robinson as a valued work colleague and an invaluable member of the Lib Dem team here in Eastbourne.

“I regret she has taken the decision to leave the party but wish her well in her political future.”

Mike Thompson, the chairman of Eastbourne Lib Dems, said, “We dealt with a complaint about a member of the party. The member apologised.

“The issue was also looked into by the regional party which concluded the issue had been properly addressed locally and the matter’s now closed.”

The Liberal Democrat councillor who quit the party last week saying she had been bullied has spoken out.

Margaret Robinson, a councillor for the Upperton area, resigned from the Eastbourne Lib Dems last week saying her complaint about bullying by fellow councillor Jim Murray had not been dealt with in a satisfactory manner.

Mrs Robinson said her complaint centred around her wanting to stand in Hampden Park in the forthcoming council elections in May. She said she put her name forward but was subjected to an “eight minute phone call of abuse” by Mr Murray, a Hampden Park councillor since 2011.

Her complaint was lodged with the Eastbourne Lib Dems and Mr Murray was advised to apologise, which he did.

Mrs Robinson said she was not happy and appealed to the regional committee, which upheld the original decision.

Mrs Robinson said, “My complaint has not been investigated properly. It’s outrageous. I was bullied. I can’t stand by and see elderly, disabled and myself being bullied and do nothing. Stepping down was not an easy decision to make but it was bullying and interference of the selection process for elections and it has not been nice. I am making a stand against the bully.”

Mr Murray said this week he “issued an unreserved apology to Cllr Robinson for the incident”.

He said, “It was never my intention to make her feel uncomfortable but if my actions have been misconstrued in such a way by Cll Robinson, I can only apologise again publicly as that was never my intention. I am, of course, pleased both the Lib Dem group in Eastbourne and the south east region both agreed I made a genuine mistake that was out of character. I have long regarded Cllr Robinson as a valued work colleague and an invaluable member of the Lib Dem team here in Eastbourne.”

Mike Thompson, the chairman of Eastbourne Lib Dems, said, “We dealt with a complaint about a party member. The member apologised. The issue was also looked into by the regional party which concluded the issue had been properly addressed locally and the matter’s now closed.”