Islington councillor resigns from Lib Dems over ‘secret court’ legislation

Cllr Greg Foxsmith

Cllr Greg Foxsmith - Credit: Archant

The principle of fair and open justice has led an Islington councillor to resign from the Lib Dems

Cllr Greg Foxsmith quit the party citing support for the justice and security act as the reason for his decision.

The bill, which could lead to court hearings being held behind closed doors, is something Cllr Foxsmith, a civil rights lawyer, said he could not be part of.

In a letter to Islington Lib Dem leader Cllr Terry Stacy, he said: “You know my views on the issue of secret courts, and I hope you understand that my decision is based entirely on the failure of leadership at national level to follow the democratically mandated wishes of the party membership to defeat that illiberal legislation.”

He added: “I know that my decision may cause some embarrassment to you and the local party; for that I apologise and I want to make it clear that my decision is because of what I see as a failure of political leadership at national level only.”

Cllr Stacy said: “I’m really sad that Greg has decided to resign his membership of the Liberal Dems over secret courts. I understand though that this is an issue which is hugely important to Greg and that he has been campaigning hard on it for months.

“Unfortunately, party rules are clear that you cannot be a Liberal Dem councillor if you are not a member of the party.

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“While it is a blow to lose Greg from the Islington Liberal Democrat group, I look forward to continuing all our work together on the council.”

Cllr Foxsmith will continue to represent Hillrise ward as an independent candidate.