While ‘speaking, writing and voting on behalf of constituents without fear or favour of party discipline’ seems reasonable, it appears unacceptable to many councillors of the HDC ruling group - who have not signed the Free Speech Charter. They include the leader.
Another group of Tory councillors signed the Charter, but have a record of obeying the party Whip. Indeed, few if any of them addressed the Planning Inspector directly at the recent HDPF hearing, on behalf of their constituents, for fear of the Whip. Do they not see the contradiction?
A third group of Tory candidates has signed (or are likely to sign) the Charter on the run up to the election, even though it is in conflict with the Tory Party Whip - in the hope that voters will not notice the contradiction?
Those voters may see all this as another form of the spin and deception that has been fed to them in recent times - that is unless the leader signs up to the principle and confirms that the Party Whip will no longer be applied in future. Come on leader, you can’t have it both ways, so which is it to be?
(UKIP) Horsham District Council candidate for Roffey South, Bluebell Close, Horsham