A WIRRAL councillor has walked out on the Liberal Democrat party due to their “lack of direction and leadership.”

Mark Johnston, who represents Pensby and Thingwall, says he will now become an independent councillor as he considers his next move in local politics.

He said party politics had become a major issue in the town hall and that decisions were not always made with residents’ needs as the main priority.

Councillor Johnston said: “For two years I have lived with what I perceive to be a total lack of direction and leadership within the Wirral Liberal Democrat council group.

"Sadly, I don’t see the situation improving and therefore I have decided to resign and continue serving the ward of Pensby and Thingwall as an independent councillor.

“I want to assure the residents of the ward that I will continue to diligently work on their behalf and represent their views, just without the restrictions of “petty party politics”.

“Sadly, party politics on the Wirral can create a divisive and frustrating environment where the best options for the people of Wirral aren’t always taken.

Political maturity, strong leadership and cross party co-operation are desperately needed so we can jointly combat the affects of the global economic situation and austerity measures. I hope that being an independent councillor will allow me to vote, make decisions and work hard without the need to take politically motivated decisions."

"I have purposefully not jumped ship to another party as I feel this should only ever be done through the ballot box.”

Lib Dem leader Cllr Tom Harney said his group had always been “open and transparent.”


He said: “Obviously we regret that he has decided to leave. He has been a councillor for three years and throughout that time the group has been open and transparent and has supported him.

“I have made sure that all members of the group are kept fully informed about what’s happening and our meetings are where things are decided and debated.

“He has said there is a lack of leadership but he has not suggested how the group can improve.

"It is very difficult to answer an attack when you don’t know what it’s about.”