UPDATE: Former Torridge parliamentary candidate Adam Symons resigns from Liberal Democrats
A former parliamentary candidate for Torridge and West Devon has resigned from the Liberal Democrats.
Councillor Adam Symons confirmed earlier today his has resigned from the political party but will continue his work 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 can confirm that I am no longer a member of the Liberal Democrats.
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“Given changes in my family circumstances, and changes in the party, I have decided to play a less active role in politics.
“However, I will continue to represent the residents in my ward (Woolsery and Clovelly) in these difficult economic times, 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 Adam Symons had confirmed with him on Friday that he had resigned from the group.
Mr Lee, who took over as leader of the Liberal Democrat group from Mr Symons last year, said he was surprised by the decision.
Mr Lee 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 is it 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 hadn't resigned he wouldn't have been automatically selected. He would have had to go through the selection process like any other prospective candidate.
He added the Executive Committee of the Liberal Democrat group is next meeting on Wednesday and Mr Lee suspected the topic would be discussed there.
Torridge District Council has not had confirmation of Mr Symons resignation from the Liberal Democrat group.
Mr Symons sits on three of the council's committees which will mean another Liberal Democrat councillor will have to fill the vacancies to ensure they remain politically aligned.