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Bizarre circumstances require explanation from Lib Dems

PUBLISHED: 11:06 22 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:24 07 September 2010

The bizarre set of circumstances around why and when Cllr Philip Thompson ended up in Tucson, Arizona USA, without telling his Kentish Town electorate, needs a explanation from the Liberal Democrat leadership who were initially prepared to back his odd at

The bizarre set of circumstances around why and when Cllr Philip Thompson ended up in Tucson, Arizona USA, without telling his Kentish Town electorate, needs a explanation from the Liberal Democrat leadership who were initially prepared to back his odd attempt to be a councillor-via-email (Representing you from 5,500 miles away, H&H September 11).

Taking £700 a month and not being able to attend community meetings when he is abroad is bad enough, but Cllr Thompson was also on two important scrutiny committees - apparently holding the council to account for their housing and crime policies as well as overseeing Camden's powerful environment department.

This involves quizzing officers and hearing deputations from concerned residents about the impact of council policies - something the Lib Dems think can happen from 5,000 miles away.

I'm really pleased that Philip has now done the right thing and decided to resign.

He is a young councillor and should have been given proper advice from his leadership about what to do when this opportunity to study abroad arose.

People living in Kentish Town are rightly angered that the Lib Dem leadership seemingly colluded with the plan to cover this up and was only forced into a by-election after the situation was revealed in the press.

I wish Philip well with his studies. The real error of judgement in this case seems to sit with the Lib Dem leadership, and there are real questions to ask about how long they knew about this and why they were not prepared to act.

Cllr Anna Stewart

Labour Group Leader

Camden Council

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