Former councillor May Hardy left Lib Dems ‘voluntarily’

A Colony councillor, who lost her district council seat after 18 years when she switched to the Tories, insists she left the Lib Dems voluntarily.

A Colony councillor, who lost her district council seat after 18 years when she switched to the Tories, insists she left the Lib Dems voluntarily.

May Hardy, 76, of Salisbury Road, had been a Liberal for 40 years and a town councillor since its inception.

But, while standing as a Conservative recently, she lost her district seat to Steve Gazzard and her town seat to Bill McConnell.

The Lib Dem leadership said she had been asked to leave the party because she had sided with the Tories on key votes.


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But Mrs Hardy, who has been plagued by ill health, told the Journal she had been angered when asked to fill out a Lib Dem form, explaining why she should be allowed to defend her seat and had taken exception to being asked what her achievements had been.

“In 18 years, I’ve never been asked to do that,” she said.

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“I’ve worked hard. Recently, I’ve helped clear illegal fly-tipping and deal with the problem of dog mess.”

She said she had intended to retire but, when the Conservatives asked her to stand, she accepted.

“I vote for what I think is right. It shouldn’t be party political at local level. You serve who voted for you, not parties, that’s why I always sat between the Lib Dems and the Tories on the town council.”

She added: “Since losing control of the town and then county council, they have got nasty and aggressive. I don’t want any part of that.

“I don’t regret standing for the Conservatives. I have proved a point.”

East Devon Lib Dem leader Geoff Chamberlain said: “We all had to re-apply for our jobs and go through the selection process, even me.

“I gave her an opportunity, but she didn’t get back to me.

“May voted with the Tories on more than one occasion, didn’t help with fund-raising and didn’t turn up to group meetings.

“It got to the point that I said that she need not bother to apply.

“For years, The Colony voted for her because she was a Lib Dem, then she stands as a Tory. For many, that’s like a red rag to a bull.

“She is a nice lady, she is ill and has worked hard in the past but, we have so few councillors at the district, we can’t afford passengers.”

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