Linda Holt, who represents the East Neuk and Landward constituency in North East Fife, announced earlier this week that she has resigned her membership of the Scottish Conservative Party and will serve as an independent councillor from now on.
She said: “I have resigned my membership of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party because I believe I can be a more effective voice for the East Neuk and Fife as an independent. My decision has been a long time coming and reflects a growing awareness of the deep-rooted dysfunction in the party at local association, council group and Scottish levels.”
“This dysfunction has not only demoralised and alienated supporters, it also prevents the party from being proactive in fighting for the interests of ordinary Fifers.”
Ms Holt added that she could no longer support Tony Miklinski, a fellow Fife councillor and the Conservative candidate for North East Fife in the forthcoming General Election on December 12, and is giving her support for the Liberal Democrats. I remain a unionist and will be voting for the Lib Dem candidate Wendy Chamberlain in the general election,” she said. Voting Labour or Conservative in NE Fife is a wasted vote, which only increases the risk of returning an SNP MP and amplifying the nationalist clamour for a second independence referendum.”
Ms Holt was elected to Fife Council in April 2017 after topping the poll ahead of the other six candidates with 1,508 (28.9%) of the first preference votes and previously served as deputy leader of the Conservative Group on Fife Council.
Current Conservative group leader on Fife Council, councillor Dave Dempsey said he was “disappointed but not surprised” by Ms Holt’s decision and added: “I certainly don’t recognise the party that she describes at all, either locally or nationally, and I suspect the dysfunction she talks about is more in her relationship with the party in Fife rather than the party itself”.
“We’ve been aware for some time that she has not been happy but it has been her decision to become increasingly detached from the rest of the group in Fife. While I’m disappointed by her timing, I do wish her well.”