Lib Dem stalwart defects to Tories to fight election
A LEADING Lib Dem supporter has defected to the Tories to fight for a seat on next year’s Cheshire East Council.
Ainsley Arnold was a chief member of the party for 15 years on both Macclesfield Borough Council and Cheshire East Council.
He said he chose to join the Conservatives after becoming increasingly unhappy with Lib Dem policy.
However, disgruntled Lib Dems hit back, accusing Mr Arnold of pursuing his political career.
He has now been given the green light by Macclesfield Conservative Association to stand in the Cheshire East Council elections in May 2015.
Mr Arnold said: “I am pleased to be joining the Conservative team in Macclesfield and playing my part in taking forward the Conservative’s positive campaign for the local area.
“I have missed the cut and thrust of local politics in recent years.
“As a Conservative candidate, I look forward to putting my local experience to work in actively serving local residents once again and making a strong contribution to the debate on local issues.”
Mr Arnold has lived in Macclesfield for 40 years and was governor of Bollinbrook C.E Aided School and chairman of Fallibroome School PTA. He served on Macclesfield Borough Council for 12 years until the creation of Cheshire East Council in 2009 where he represented Broken Cross ward for two years.
More recently he stood as a Liberal Democrat candidate for the Cheshire Police & Crime Commissioner role in 2012.
Welcoming Mr Arnold to the Conservative fold, Macclesfield’s MP David Rutley said: “Ainsley has a wealth of experience in serving the people of Macclesfield and Cheshire.
“I am delighted that he has chosen to join the Conservative Party. Ainsley’s clear commitment to serve Macclesfield makes him an invaluable member of our team.”
Jo Crotty, chair of the North West Region Lib Dems, said: “It is always sad when someone chooses to leave the party, particularly when it seems to be more about making a political career choice than it is a point of principle.
“There will always be people who value loyalty to their own future prospects above loyalty to volunteers who helped them get elected as a Liberal Democrat multiple times.
“We look forward to defeating him at the ballot box in the future.”
●● Ainsley Arnold, right, is greeted by Macclesfield Conservative MP David Rutley