Dear Adrian Sanders,
I am writing you this open letter following the startling and rather disturbing revelations in Saturdays Herald Express under the headline ‘Mayday, Mayday, Lib Dems at War’.
I do not wish to be drawn into the bitter wrangling between your party and yourself but I am concerned on behalf of a large number of your constituents about allegations made concerning the Torbay First campaign launched last year to oppose a directly elected mayor.
Although the campaign was fronted by Cllr Ruth Pentney, one of your
employees, you repeatedly claimed that this campaign had nothing to do with you.
You were asked about your involvement several times and on each occasion you stated categorically that this was an independent campaign in which you were not involved.
It now transpires – according to your own council group leader Cllr Gordon Jennings- that the Torbay First scheme was apparently cooked up by you in your own home.
“It was devised in Adrian Sanders kitchen…. It was formed after discussions with Adrian, Party officials … and councillors including myself and Chris Harris” he says in Saturday’s newspaper.
So the campaign to stop Torbay having an elected mayor was, according to your most senior councillor, devised to ‘appear’ independent when in fact it was masterminded by you.
While you were assuring Torbay residents on the one hand that you would work with ‘whoever was elected’ you were frantically campaigning behind closed doors to stop residents having a Mayor at all.
The key issue here is one of trust. At a time when many feel that politicians need to be fully open transparent and accountable for their dealings and interests why aren’t you being open about yours?
Were you involved in this campaign as Cllr Jennings alleges?
And if you were, why did you not say so when you were asked about this by the Herald Express last year?
This is an important matter which I believe has the potential to call into question the integrity of your office as our Member of Parliament.
I therefore urge you to offer your constituents a full and open explanation as soon as possible.
I look forward to hearing from you.