Questions remain over status of new Sunderland councillor elected while suspended from Lib Dems

Lynn Appleby
Lynn Appleby

Uncertainty continues to surround the status of one of Sunderland’s newest councillors.

Lynn Appleby was elected to the city council on Thursday as the Liberal Democrat candidate in the Sandhill ward – despite currently being suspended from the party.

Her membership was temporarily revoked pending investigation last month over allegations she shared offensive posts on social media.

Following her victory, clarification has been sought on her current status with Liberal Democrats and whether she will be allowed formally represent the party while the process is on-going.

At the time of writing this was yet to be provided by local or national branches of the Lib Dems.

Speaking on election night, after all results had been confirmed, Sunderland’s Lib Dem leader Niall Hodson, said: “The situation with Lynn is an internal matter.

“She remains a member of the Liberal Democrats, she was elected as a Liberal Democrat.”

In a statement issued by the national party on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats said: “Lynn Appleby was added to the ballot before she was suspended from the party.

“Under electoral law we are unable to remove her name from it.

“The disciplinary hearing and the Party Constitution in on the composition of Recognised Council Groups will determine what happens in the longer term.”

James Harrison

James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service