THE leader of the Liberal Democrats in Wiltshire has stood down from his role following an internal power struggle with the wider party which has left his position "untenable".
Jon Hubbard, who has been opposition leader on Wiltshire Council
for six years, informed group members on Saturday that he would stand down — publicly stating financial pressure as the reason for his decision.
But in a party memo, seen by the Journal, he described how "when 85 per cent the battles you are fighting are internal battles not external ones then it is clear that something is very very wrong".
"It is my firm opinion that the role of a leader is to do just that — lead," he said in the email. "When a leader feels that they are no longer able to effectively do that then the time has clearly come for them to move on. Leading a council group within the Liberal Democrats requires two things, support from those within the group and support from those within the party.
"Whilst I have always felt confident of the former of these, the challenges of the later have been considerable throughout the past few years."
It appears the dispute came to a head over a meeting of party members which Cllr Hubbard had planned to use to identify potential new candidates for the 2017 Wiltshire Council elections.
But at the last minute the agenda was changed to include a talk from Sir Graham Watson, the former Lib Dem leader in Europe, who was scheduled to speak about the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections and the EU referendum.