Call for resignations after Councillors move parties
Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond MP has issued a call for the three Merton Councillors who defected to UKIP to resign and fight a by-election.
With the recent death of Colliers Wood Councillor Gam Gurung, a by-election has been called for August 8. Mr Hammond says a by-election could also be called elsewhere at little extra cost.
He has challenged Councillors Suzanne Evans, Richard Hilton and Rod Scott to resign, who defected to UKIP in May, and have a by-election on the same day.
Mr Hammond said as they were elected by their residents as Conservatives, it must be right to ask the public back their decision and support their move.
He said: "On the day when only the Conservative Party have brought forward legislation to ensure an In-Out referendum in 2017, I think it is time that Councillors Evans, Hilton and Scott put their money where their mouths are and resign to give themselves a clear indication if their defection is supported by their constituents.
"They have no current mandate to serve and should resign, I issue this challenge today. I have written to the three Councillors with this challenge and I await to see if they have the courage to take up this invitation to behave honourably".
Councillor Oonagh Moulton, Conservative Group Leader on Merton Council, added: "If the UKIP Councillors say they have switched parties for honourable reasons then they should now do the honourable thing and stand down to fight a by-election in their wards. They need a mandate from their residents and their electorate deserve nothing less than democracy."