Lib Dem stal­wart de­fects to To­ries to fight elec­tion

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

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

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