The Editor In Chief of the County Times Gary Shipton today confirmed that he had withdrawn from The Chairman’s Trust in the wake of the unfolding controversy surrounding the deselection of Horsham District Council’s vice chairman.
The Trust was set up by the current chairman Philip Circus to raise money to support those people in need in the Horsham District who had no-where else to turn.
Since it was established, the County Times has given considerable publicity to fundraising events including a Dickens evening just before Christmas.
Mr Shipton said: “I congratulate Mr Circus and his wife Gaenor on forming the Trust and on the huge amount of work they have personally put into making its very worthwhile aims a reality. It has been a pleasure to support them.
“But the role of chairman has always been a politically neutral one and it was on this basis that I agreed to become a trustee.
“For the Conservative Party to use a three line whip to deselect the chairman elect Christian Mitchell seemingly to punish him for speaking out on behalf of his constituents is contrary to the County Times’ ethos of maintaining its own politically neutral position and of defending freedom of expression.”