ANOTHER member of the Kirwan family has quit from West Wirral Conservatives - this time the wife of sitting Independent councillor David.

Mr Kirwan, a solicitor, resigned the Tory whip a month ago citing his frustration at not being allowed to speak out on what he felt were Wirral-wide matters of importance.

Now his wife Julie - who has tried and failed to win a seat on the council for the last three years - has resigned too, giving her reason as "interference" by the party's West Wirral Management Committee.

Although several weeks apart, both Kirwans announced their resignations in the form of a press release issued through a public relations company employed by their business, Kirwans Solicitors, which has offices in Moreton, Prenton and Liverpool.

The press release states: "The Conservative Party in Wirral was thrown into new turmoil following the resignation of one of its leading activists.

"Julie Kirwan, chair of Upton Ward, quit because of interference' by the Wirral West Management Committee in her ward.

"Mrs Kirwan's decision comes just weeks after her husband and leading solicitor David Kirwan resigned the Conservative whip to become an Independent councillor for Hoylake and Meols.

"The final straw for Mrs Kirwan came when party bosses in Wirral told her she would have to seek reselection as a candidate in Wirral West rather than simply being nominated as a candidate in Upton, where she narrowly lost out in May's elections.

"Mrs Kirwan was also bizarrely omitted from the latest Wirral West Constituency Handbook."

The press release adds: "In her resignation letter to the party, Mrs Kirwan said: I have worked hard for the past four years in Wirral, both in the 2005 General Election and particularly to win the Upton Ward from Labour."

Mrs Kirwan's husband, David, resigned the whip last month saying he'd been told to "stick to coffee mornings" by the party leadership in Wirral. He insists he will not take the whip back and will continue to represent his ward as an Independent.


I am writing to inform you and all other members of the Ward that I am resigning as Chairperson of Upton Ward Conservatives. I feel obliged to take this step because of the interference of the Wirral West Management Committee in the affairs of the Ward, the Chair of which I took over following the recent resignation of my Husband, Councillor David Kirwan.

I have worked hard for the past 4 years in Wirral West, both in the 2005 General Election Campaign and particularly to win the Upton Ward from Labour. You will recall that when I first stood in 2004 the Labour majority was 840. After two subsequent campaigns in 2006 and 2007 I brought this down to 197 and in so doing raised the Conservative vote from 1140 in 2003 to 1734 in 2007, thus surpassing Labour's 2006 vote.

After the disappointment of my narrow defeat in 2007 I was, therefore, astonished when the Management Committee recently published the Wirral West Constituency Handbook in which reference to me as Deputy Chairperson of Upton Ward was conspicuously absent, despite the fact that I had held that office since 2004 and having been re-elected @ the AGM this January. No apology let alone explanation has ever been tendered to me for that omission.

Having now stood as your candidate on no less than 3 previous occasions, it will come as to no surprise to you that the minutes of our most recent meeting record the unanimous intention of the Ward Committee (proposed by Cath Postles and seconded by Jennifer Sheridan) to hold a 'closed selection' meeting for the purpose of reselecting me as candidate once again for the Local Elections in 2008. I now learn, however, that the Management Committee has purported to overrule this decision and to impose 'open selection' upon the Ward thus inviting other candidates to apply. You will not be surprised to hear that I regard this action as insulting to me after my experience of 3 previous local election campaigns including my adoption in both 2006 & 2007 by the 'closed selection' procedure. Indeed it should be said that Upton Ward has been very well run now for the past 4 years since David & I took over as Chair & Deputy Chair respectively. Our committee meetings have been a model of harmony and good humour and we have run our election campaigns vigorously and largely without any help or support from this same Management Committee. What has changed? Nothing!

I have also not forgotten the most unwelcome intervention of the Association Chair, Dick Calver in the affairs of the Greasby, Frankby & Irby Ward in October 2005 which precipitated my resignation as Ward Candidate and which was followed by a crushing defeat at the hands of the Liberal Democrats at the subsequent local election from which that Ward has not since recovered.

I draw no satisfaction from my resignation which has been dictated by the interference of the Management Committee in the affairs of your Ward. Nevertheless, whilst once again a shadow has been cast upon the fortunes of the Conservative Party in Wirral West, let me take this final opportunity to thank you for all the help and support you have given me here in Upton for these past 4 years.


Julie Kirwan