Councillor quits after three weeks

Elected: Coun Liam Pennington, centre, after his win
Elected: Coun Liam Pennington, centre, after his win
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A new Preston councillor has quit just three weeks after being elected and described the heartache behind his decision to friends online.

Liam Pennington, 30, became a Riversway ward councillor when he took the seat from Labour’s Linda Crompton with a margin of just four votes on May 7.

But less than three weeks after his victory, Coun Pennington sent a statement to the Evening Post, confirming his immediate resignation.

He also put a message on his publicly available Facebook page, which stated problems with his girlfriend were behind the decision.

He wrote: “Having spoken to the girlfriend I have made some decisions to ensure I never come close to losing her again.

“I will resign from Preston Council tomorrow with immediate effect and always make sure she knows what I’m up to on nights out. I can’t get that close to losing her, my life must change to focus on keeping this relationship alive.” In a statement sent to the Evening Post, he said: “It is with regret that I confirm my immediate resignation as the Liberal Democrat member of Preston Council for Riversway Ward. Broadgate and the docks deserve a ‘street champion’ not an ‘accidental councillor’.

“Preston Liberal Democrats are the finest, most professional people I have ever known, who represent their constituents with pride and dignity.

“I cannot pretend to be able to follow their lead. I must sort out my own life before trying to help others. Thank you for all you have done to make my time at the other side of the Town Hall doors such an incredible experience.”

But Coun Danny Gallagher, who is the Larches ward councillor and leader of the Liberal Democrat party, said he has not received the resignation.

He said: “At this moment in time there is no resignation. I will be discussing the situation with Liam. As of now there is no resignation.”

Preston Coun Bhikhu Patel, who represents Riversway for the Labour party, said: “Riversway is a great ward to represent at the council. Regrettably Liam doesn’t see himself as a good representative of the ward. I cannot say that I am sorry he is going but I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.”

A spokesman for Preston Council, said: “We have received no official letter of resignation from any of our councillors. In the event that a councillor should resign the vacancy would be advertised and a by-election held within 35 days from receiving a request to fill the vacancy as required by law.”

Preston Council is currently controlled by a Conservative-led alliance with the Liberal Democrat party with a total of 30 seats ahead of Labour with 24 seats with other parties holding three seats.