Send your news, photos and videos by texting bucksfreepress to 80360 or email
'Labour to Tory defector should resign seat and trigger election'
AN EX-MAYOR who defected from Labour to the Conservatives must resign his council seat and trigger an election, a former Tory Chairman says.
Lakshan Wanigasooriya, formerly Chairman of the High Wycombe eastern branch of the Conservative Association, has blasted Cllr Chauhdry Shafique, who crossed the political floor last month.
Cllr Shafique left Labour and has joined the Tories.
Mr Wanigasooriya, who fought and lost to Cllr Shafique in a previous Wycombe District Council election for his current Totteridge ward, said it was wrong for him to remain at without giving residents another vote.
Mr Wanigasooriya said: "I hope even with the dwindling number of people with a backbone and some shame left in the Conservative party they will make a request to Chauhdry to do the correct thing and step down and give the people of Totteridge their say.
"If I was the chairman of the eastern branch I would have insisted on this. I ask the people of Totteridge to petition both the Conservative party as well as WDC of their loss of faith in this councillor."
He predicted a defeat for his rival at such an election.
The former Wycombe Conservative Association management committee member said he was ashamed by his ex-colleague's actions in allowing Cllr Shafique to join.
Cllr Shafique said: "There have been many examples of people crossing the floor, changing parties and don't recall this being something that has happened before.
"I'm not exactly sure what the basis of his view is.
"I have no intention of resigning and continue to represent the people of Totteridge irrespective of who they voted for at the time."
He believes a considerable amount of the votes he got at the last election were for him personally, rather than because he was a Labour candidate.
He said he had overturned a big majority and Labour had failed to do this previously, therefore his personal profile probably played an important part.
Regarding the response to his defection general, Cllr Shafique said: "It has been incredible, the amount of positive reaction, of course my Conservative colleagues have been enormously receptive and appreciative.
"Even in the wider community people I have spoken to fully understand and support the decision to leave Labour and join the Conservatives."
The move by Cllr Shafique has been highly controversial, with angered Labour members saying he had breached their rules. He was suspended but claimed his switch had been in the pipeline a long time and this was a 'red herring'.
Mr Wanigasooriya, who twice ran and lost as a Tory council candidate, was scathing about the party when he quit last month. He hit out at the branch for using the "recycled faces of the same old people" as candidates for the district and county councils.
Comments are closed on this article.