Bridgwater and West Somerset’s beleaguered Tory MP, Ian Liddell-Grainger, is under new pressure to step down. The West Somerset council leader, Tim Taylor, has sent a dossier of more than a hundred pages of evidence to David Cameron and other senior Tories. It gives details of rude, spiteful behaviour by the MP, and questions his honesty and integrity.
Somerset Labour has obtained a copy of the dossier, which contains letters, emails and personal statements from residents, councillors and council staff. It adds significant new detail to complaints by councillors who passed a vote of no confidence in Liddell-Grainger earlier this year.
Among the bullying behaviour revealed in the dossier, Liddell-Grainger is said to have told a council officer, Andrew Goodchild, that West Somerset was a “non-entity” . In an email, Mr Goodchild says Liddell-Grainger later shouted “bugger off” at him, at an official event .
The document makes clear that the acrimony between Liddell-Grainger and councillors goes back years. In a report for a meeting in February 2013, Tim Taylor describes Liddell-Grainger as inaccurate, aggressive, cowardly and destructive.
Councillor Kate Kravis, who holds the finance portfolio at West Somerset, accuses Liddell-Grainger of “lying to our faces” and says she has personally heard him being rude, abusive and disrespectful.
Other Tory councillors have these comments:
“He has told blatant lies” – Cllr Bruce Heywood
“He has shown a total lack of respect” –Cllr Alec Chick
“He gives false information to constituents” –Cllr Dace Westcott
“I shall not be supporting him” –Cllr Tony Knight
“It is not too late to replace him. I will not vote for him again” –Cllr Keith Turner
“There comes a time when enough is enough and when the honesty and integrity of the person who represents all that you work for on the national stage has to be questioned.” –Cllr Karen Mills
The dossier also includes letters and emails from members of the public, journalists and a business leader making clear Liddell-Grainger’s bullying manner, lack of understanding and failure to deliver on his promises
Labour’s candidate for Bridgwater and West Somerset, Mick Lerry, said: “Through his destructive and divisive actions, Ian Liddell Grainger has broken the relationship with the council democratically elected by the people of West Somerset. It is time for him to realise he can no longer represent this constituency properly. If I am elected as MP on May 7th, I can give an assurance that I will work with the elected council to achieve the best outcome for the people of West Somerset.”
Andy Lewis, the Labour candidate for Alcombe, said:“This dossier makes devastating reading. The full extent of Liddell-Grainger’s terrible behaviour over several years is now becoming clear. It is not just Tory councillors who are against him. There is a litany of complaints from residents. People of all political views agree that Liddell-Grainger is not fit to represent West Somerset in Parliament.”