Sunderland councillor’s political status to be reviewed at Lib Dems meeting next week

Lynn Appleby
Lynn Appleby

The status of one of Sunderland’s newest councillors, who was suspended from her party before last week’s local elections, will be reviewed early next week.

Lynn Appleby was elected to the city council last Thursday as a Liberal Democrat - but the Sandill ward councillor is still suspended by the party as it investigates allegations that she shared offensive posts on social media.

At the moment, the judgement of the party a couple of weeks ago remains in place.

Lib Dem spokesman

Her membership was temporarily revoked last month pending an investigation into the claims - but her name had already appeared on ballot papers as a Liberal Democrat candidate.

The party confirmed at the time it was investigating the candidate over her use of Facebook.

A spokesman for the local party confirmed the suspension was still in place and the situation future would be reviewed at a meeting on Monday.

“At the moment, the judgement of the party a couple of weeks ago remains in place,” he said.

“She remains a member of the Liberal Democrats, but she will sit in council without a party badge.

“This situation is subject to review - it will be discussed at a party meeting.

Speaking on election night, after confirmation Ms Appleby had succeeded in overturning sitting councillor David Allan’s majority, Sunderland 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, a spokesperson 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.”

Ms Appleby won the Sandhill ward seat in last week’s Local Elections, polling 1,025 votes to beat Labour’s Dave Allan, who received 820 votes.