Haringey Lib Dem opposition leader steps down

THE leader of Haringey’s Liberal Democrat party is to step down.

Hornsey councillor Robert Gorrie has led the Lib Dems on Haringey Council since 2008, but says he will step down next month to allow a new leader time to begin to build for their 2014 local election campaign.

Cllr Gorrie will step down at the party’s AGM on May 11, when a new leader will be elected.

Robert was first elected to Haringey Council in Hornsey in May 2006, where a big swing to the Liberal Democrats wiped out Labour from the ward.

He said: “It has been a great pleasure to play a part in many successful campaigns and holding this incompetent Labour administration to account.

“However, we need a leader to take us through to at least 2014. The Liberal Democrat Council group in Haringey has so many great people and I’m really looking forward to the new the new team being in place. Stepping down will give me more time to spend on the most enjoyable part of being a councillor, which is working with my two ward colleagues Errol Reid and Monica Whyte to support the people of Hornsey.

“I will continue to fight for the residents of Hornsey against the current controversial plans for a train shed at Coronation Sidings. I will continue campaigning for more Neighbourhood Watches and a safer Hornsey high street and I will continue pushing the Council for a solution to the Hornsey Depot site which has been derelict for too long.”

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Local MP Lynne Featherstone paid tribute to Cllr Gorrie, saying: “Robert has been a fantastic Leader of our council group. He has always been a strong leader and a true Liberal. And at times of great need - when leadership really counts - he has never flinched from doing what needed doing.

“His stewardship of the Council Group during the Baby Peter case, for example, ensured that the Labour leadership were really held to account for their failings.

“He leaves a strong Liberal Democrat group ready for the next leader to build towards another fight to take the Council in 2014 and end four decades of Labour who have continually failed to deliver for our local residents.

“He will be missed and I wish Robert all the best in his next role.”