The Southport Visiter has the story
New blow for Southport Conservatives as activists quit
SOUTHPORT’S Conservatives lurched into deeper crisis following the resignation of two of the party’s top activists.
Retired judge Stuart Fish, chairman of Dukes Ward Conservative Association, has sensationally quit the party, with Michael Hunton stepping down from his role as Kew Ward chairman.
Both left following the controversial removal of Jackie Glover as chairman of Southport Conservative Association, after her involvement in an extraordinary spat with Tory election candidate, Brenda Porter and husband, Ken.
I had thought I was going to get the chance to blog about one or two other things today-I visited an amazing exhibition of modern Icon at Liverpool Cathedral yesterday and there is lots of Birkdale news I want to post-but the news that retired Judge Stuart Fish and Michael Hunton have quit their posts as Chairs of local Conservative wards and quit the party must come first.
Even after all the suspensions, resignations and poison pen letters this is earth shattering news for the Tories it measures somewhere about 8.5 on the Richter scale.
Michael Hunton has spent decades working in the Tory party and was once on the ticket in Ainsdale with the Tory PPC. His resignation from chair of Kew ward- a seat the Tories have to win if they are to have any hope in a General Election -would normally be front page news in it's own right.But it is the resignation of Judge Fish-and I understand 5 member of Dukes ward that is the most significant.
By any measure Dukes Ward is the one true blue Tory strong hold in Southport. Since local government reorganisation in the early 70s the Tories have never lost this ward. Since Mrs Porter took over as PPC Cllr Les Byrom has crossed the floor because of all the infighting and back biting,Cllr David Pearson has been suspended and had the whip withdrawn and Sir Ron Watson has been roundly abused in print by a key supporter of Mrs Porter.
Now Five Tory members have quit with Judge Fish. If the Tories cannot keep the loyalty of people who are respected in their local community they have problems.
The journalist on the Visiter also has information that it is the high handed autocratic way that the Conservatives have behaved that these folk find offensive.. As with David Pearson accusations are made and decisions taken and published without any right for the accused to have their same. In David Pearson's case he fought back and the 'nasty' party had to back down. Had it not been so close to a general election I suspect that Jackie Glover would have cleared her name. It is an appalling way to do business. I wrote about Brenda's Star Chamber back in 1997- I did not imagine that she would go to such extremes.
And yet for all this Mrs Porter thinks she is the victim in every case. All the rest are out of step except her. It has not dawned on her that all these folk she is driving out are loyal, natural Tories-and what is she exchanging them for? The author of Dirty Politics