It was stated in a Sussex Express article (December 12) that one of our Liberal Democrat members had resigned because she was unable to vote in the election for Chair of the local Lib Dem Party, and believed herself to be disenfranchised.
It is true she was unable to vote. But she was legitimately excluded from voting, whereas she believed she was eligible.
Members have to be in continuous membership for at least a year prior to voting. This continuity rule is in place in very many institutions, and was adhered to by our returning officer from outside the constituency. It applies for any election within the Lib Dem Party, whether for local chair or party leader.
We have checked the data on our membership records, and this week checked with the national records, and they confirmed the person involved left the party during the past year and then rejoined. To be fair to everyone, a rule is a rule, and the rule was applied by someone who had absolutely no personal knowledge of the person excluded. I trust this explanation can be accepted.
For future reference, Peter Gardiner was elected as Chair by a small majority in a close fought election, but one vote would not have swayed the result!
Membership Officer, Lewes