A newly-elected Lib Dem at Chichester District Council has defected to the Green Party.
Natalie Hume, one of two representatives for Loxwood, will join Sarah Sharp and Heather Barrie in the three-strong Green group at CDC.
She described how she had stood as a Lib Dem in May’s council election in support of another candidate, but believed her voice for Loxwood would be ‘strongest and most effective from within the Green Party’.
She said: “In my role as district councillor I am focused on protecting our local area, which involves mitigating the impact of climate change and other environmental crises.
“I stood as a Liberal Democrat in support of another candidate, and did not campaign actively on my own behalf. Now that I have been elected, I am committed to representing the ward with integrity and clarity, in keeping with my personal values. I feel my voice for Loxwood will be strongest and most effective from within the Green Party.”
Ms Sharp, a city and district Green councillor, added: “The Green Party is growing locally and nationally and we welcome Natalie to the Green Party.
“Together we can continue to work hard for local residents and stand up on issues that matter most to residents.”
Gareth Evans is the other Lib Dem councillor for Loxwood.
A spokesman for Chichester’s Lib Dems said: “We are disappointed by Natalie’s move so soon after being elected as a Liberal Democrat in May.
“As she states in her letter she played no active role in the district council campaign. Natalie relied totally on the huge efforts of Liberal Democrat councillor Gareth Evans and his team of dedicated Lib Dem volunteers to elect her to office.
“Whilst we are sad for our volunteers, our main thoughts are with the voters of Loxwood ward. They legitimately elected two Liberal Democrat councillors to fight on their behalf.
“It is totally understandable if they now feel they have elected a councillor under false pretences.”