Former MP hope leaves party but continues in role
A FORMER parliamentary candidate for Torridge and West Devon has resigned from the Liberal Democrats.
Councillor Adam Symons said on Monday he has resigned from the political party but will continue as a Torridge district councillor.
Mr Symons, who is a councillor for the Clovelly Bay ward, stood for parliament in 2010 but Geoffrey Cox MP won the seat.
Mr Symons said: "I am no longer a member of the Liberal Democrats. Given changes in my family circumstances, and changes in the party, I have decided to play a less active role in politics.
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"However, I will continue to represent the residents in my ward (Woolsery and Clovelly) as an independent councillor.
"I wanted to express my thanks to the Liberal Democrat Party, and in particular the Liberal Democrat council group on Torridge for all their hard work and support."
Geoff Lee, the leader of the Torridge Liberal Democrat group, said Mr Symons was surprised by the decision.
He said: "I had heard a couple of rumours and on Friday I gave Adam a call and he told me had resigned from the group but not as a Torridge councillor.
"As for his reasons I can't really say except that it is for personal reasons.
"I don't know too much myself, more information will probably come out in due course.
"It was a surprise, but often priorities for people change.
"Adam will continue to represent the people who have elected him on Torridge."
Mr Lee said the hunt will be on for prospective parliamentary candidates but that if Adam had not resigned he would not have been automatically selected.
He would have had to go through the selection process like any other prospective candidate.
Mr Lee said the executive committee of the Liberal Democrat group is next meeting on Wednesday and he suspected the topic would be discussed there.
Mr Cox said: "I don't understand Adam's resignation to be to do with principles against the Coalition.
"I was confidently expecting Adam to be my next opponent and I am very sorry to hear he is no longer a member of active politics."
Mr Symons sits on three of the district council's committees, which will mean another Liberal Democrat councillor will have to fill the vacancies to ensure they remain politically aligned.