Isle of Wight Councillor Michael Lilley has quit the Green Party due to what he claims are ‘very different perspectives’ on how he should operate as a Green Councillor.
Cllr Lilley was elected in the Ryde East ward during last year’s local elections to become the Island’s only Green representative in office.
In a statement Cllr Lilley said ” I am writing with deep sadness after many months of personal stress and soul searching to inform the Isle of Wight Community I have decided to resign as a member of the Green Party. This decision has not been easy.
“In 2017, I was very proud to stand openly as a Green Party candidate and be elected as a Green IW and Ryde Town Councillor by the wonderful residents of Ryde East where I live.
“I believe in accountability which being an elected representative involves, and have been active in consulting local residents and those within the local Green Party regularly. This has become increasingly difficult as some members of the IW Green Party who have a very different perspective to me regarding the interpretation of how a Green Councillor should operate. This has become increasingly irreconcilable.
“I have decided that my loyalty and commitment has to be the people of Ryde East who voted me in with 53% of the vote.
“I cannot continue to be accountable to a local party who demand a greater control on my daily function as a Councillor, as this often conflicts with the needs of my local community which have to be my first priority.
“I can no longer serve this community and residents well whilst being held to account and directed by a committee of the Isle of Wight Green Party.
“Therefore, after consultation with local residents, my family, respected members of the community, and those in the Green Party who I have worked closely with, I have decided to resign as a representative and member of the Green Party.
“I remain as an elected Councillor representing Ryde East as an Independent Green. This will enable me to focus on being a good representative and community leader for my ward of Ryde East, both within the ward and across the Island.
“It will also enable the local Green Party to go in the direction they wish and I want to thank the majority of the party for their past support and wish them well for the future.”