Surrey County Council's Liberal Democrat Group has officially disbanded and its eight Members have joined forces with the sole Green Party councillor on the Authority, naming themselves the 'Surrey Opposition Forum'.
The news was confirmed at today's County Council AGM and is a clear admission that the Liberal Democrats are no longer a viable force in Surrey. Despite their misleading new name, they do not constitute the main Opposition party at Surrey’s County Hall, and the change shows just how toxic the Lib Dem brand has become.
Surrey County Council’s Conservative Leader David Hodge said 'This news is quite staggering - a national political party, which until a little over a year ago was part of the Government, has allowed one of their regional council Groups to abandon the party's name and branding and set-up shop under a different banner, presumably in the hope the electorate wouldn’t notice. For us, it's a welcome acknowledgement of their inability to win in the County, but when a Party reinvents itself to such an extent, it also raises serious questions about the robustness of their electoral mandate. Frankly, I’m surprised their central office has allowed it.'