Almost half of Brent’s Liberal Democrat councillors plan to step down, it has been claimed

Cllr Ann Hunter has announced she will not be standing.

Cllr Ann Hunter has announced she will not be standing. - Credit: Archant

Party denies they are struggling to find alternative candidates

Cllr Chris Leaman

Cllr Chris Leaman - Credit: Archant

The borough’s opposition party has been thrown into disarray after it was revealed nearly half of their current councillors may give up their seats at the next election.

Cllr David Clues has been living in Brighton for more than a year

Cllr David Clues has been living in Brighton for more than a year - Credit: Archant

A source has revealed that seven Liberal Democrats councillors out 16 have indicated they do not wish to stand in 2014 and that the party could struggle to find alternative candidates.

Cllr Ann Hunter of the Willesden Green ward and Cllr Chris Leaman, Mapesbury, have both confirmed to the Times they will not be standing in order to spend more time with their families.

However, it is thought at least five other councillors will not put their name forward to stand in 2014 with some unhappy at the party’s reputation both nationally and locally.

The Times has previously reported that two councillors Cllr David Clues and Cllr Gavin Sneddon, who represent Dudden Hill and Willesden Green, no longer live in the borough.

Cllr Clues, a former vicar at St Mary’s Church in Neasden Lane, has been living more than 90 miles away in Brighton since December 2011.

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Cllr Sneddon has been living in East Barnet since June last year.

Pressure to resign from rival parties has been mounting on the pair for some months.

The Times understands that an official complaint about Cllr Clues’ failure to respond to emails has been made to the council’s standards committee.

The Lib Dems have been heavily criticised by the ruling Labour party in Brent for their party’s involvement in the coalition government with the Conservatives.

However, Cllr Lorber denied the party would struggle to find new candidates.

He said: “Brent Liberal Democrats will announce candidates for 2014 in due course.

“We look forward to a strong field of new and returning council candidates who will challenge Labour’s mismanagement of Brent Council and provide a positive alternative to Labour’s record of library closures, street cleaning cuts and financial waste.”