04:54PM, Tuesday 04 August 2020
A former Conservative councillor has been accepted into a new party following a five-week investigation into his conduct.
Cllr Gurch Singh, who represents St Marys Ward, is now a member of the Royal Borough Liberal Democrats after he defected from the Conservatives in June.
On Monday (yesterday) the Royal Borough Lib Dems held an executive meeting where a number of allegations that had been made against Cllr Singh by council leader Cllr Andrew Johnson (Con, Hurley and Walthams) and the Conservative council group were considered.
The meeting looked at a report that examined all of the allegations, and included evidence submitted by Conservative members, Cllr Singh, and members of the public.
Following deliberations a secret ballot was held, with the committee voting to admit Cllr Singh into the party.
In a statement, the Liberal Democrats said that many of the accusations were ‘entirely without foundation’.
It added it planned to make as much of its 20-page report available to the public as possible, but some parts will need to be redacted due to duty of care and data protection concerns.
Cllr Singh said: "I am delighted to have had my application for membership of the Liberal Democrats approved.
"I want to thank the executive committee for a thorough and impartial investigation of the accusations made by Cllr Johnson.
"The process was a rigorous examination and nothing was glossed over."
In response to the decision, Cllr Johnson said: “It is fair to say that from my side they (the Lib Dems) seemingly have lower standards than us.”
He added that he felt the move from the Lib Dems was ‘opportunistic’.
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