UPDATED: Isle of Wight Councillor Michael Lilley has quit the Green Party due to what he claims are ‘very different perspectives’ on how he should operate as a Green Councillor from some members on the Island.
Cllr Lilley was elected in the Ryde East ward during last year’s local elections to become the Island’s only Green representative in office. However, 12 months on and Lilley says it is with ‘deep sadness’ that he has resigned as member of the Green Party, a decision he says has not been easy.
The news is a blow for the Greens as Michael was the only elected county councillor representing their views on the Isle of Wight – a local authority ruled by the Conservatives.
Speaking about his decision to go it alone, Michael Lilley has said:
“I believe in accountability which being an elected representative involves, and have been active in consulting local residents and those within the local Green Party regularly. This has become increasingly difficult as some members of the IW Green Party who have a very different perspective to me regarding the interpretation of how a Green Councillor should operate. This has become increasingly irreconcilable.
“I cannot continue to be accountable to a local party who demand a greater control on my daily function as a Councillor, as this often conflicts with the needs of my local community which have to be my first priority.
“I can no longer serve this community and residents well whilst being held to account and directed by a committee of the Isle of Wight Green Party”.
Following his decision to resign as a representative and member of the Green Party, Councillor Lilley says he will continue to represent his ward but as an Independent Green.
UPDATE @ 11:40 – The Isle of Wight Green Party have issued a statement in response to Cllr Lilley’s resignation.
“The Isle of Wight Green Party has been notified that Michael Lilley has resigned from the Green Party of England and Wales this morning. Michael had been elected as a Town Councillor in Ryde, and subsequently as the County Councillor for Ryde East, with the help and resources of Green Party volunteers and regional staff.
“Although the Green Party does not instruct its elected members how to vote, accountability is a required principle for all Green Party councillors. We understand that Michael will now serve on the Isle of Wight Council as an independent.
“We thank Michael for his hard work on behalf of Ryde residents and wish him all the best for the future”.