Witham: Labour Councillor Joins Lib Dems

Mrs Joy Reekie , long standing Labour District and Town Councillor for
Witham West has resigned from the Labour Group to join the Liberal
Democrats.

Joy has said:

“For the past two years I have been struggling to reconcile my beliefs, principles and conscience with changes in the Labour Party. I have come to realise that the changes are not in me but that the party has moved away from my fundamental beliefs.

I joined the Labour Party and became a local councillor, to make decisions and changes for and with the local people, to be their voice. I have found this increasingly difficult and have had to disobey the party whip on at least two occasions, for example the housing transfer option. I feel therefore that I have no alternative but to resign my membership of the Labour Party.

I could resign from and take no further part in council matters but I do not feel that I can just give in and therefore have become a member of the Liberal Democrats, where I have been assured that I can vote according to my conscience. I believe my principles and values are more in line with the Liberal Democrats”.

Councillor Reekie was first elected to the former Witham Urban District
Council in 1970! She is a former teacher and has lived in her town for forty
years

  • I know that quite a few Conservatives are finding things a bit too regimented – and you can see that there’s quite a few absentees from the council chamber lately.

    But nobody’s hinted to me yet that they’ve had enough and would like to change sides. And even if you are thinking about it – it’s a tough choice to make – because it’s a lot harder to get re-elected if you’ve got the big Tory political organisation working against you! Also, most of the Conservatives are far to the right of David Cameron, so they wouldn’t want to join us.

    I think it’s more likely that any unhappy Conservatives are more likely to try to use the possibility of joining the Lib Dems -or UKIP – as a lever to gain more freedom within their party. Something on the lines of “If you expel me for voting with my conscience there’s another party who will have me…” But I think the current Conservative leadership have enough sense to know that they need to relax the party whip a bit.

    If there are any Conservatives out there who would like the extra freedom from sitting with us, I’d be happy to have a totally confidential chat with them. But I’m not expecting it to happen.

  • Joy Reekie had previously resigned from Witham Town Council. She then went on to resign from the Labour Group on Braintree District Council to join the Lib/Dem Group.
    On 3rd May the electors of her ward, Witham West, told her in no uncertain terms what they though of her actions – they booted her out of Braintree District and refused to have her back on the Town Council.
    Word has it that the Lib/Dems have now discovered why the Labour Party were pleased to see the back of her.
    P.S. The Lib/Dem Group on Braintree District Council has been reduced to just a single member – just like Witham Town Council.