Setting the record straight

Following harassment and threats against one of our female Councillors, the Police have felt it necessary to upgrade her home and personal security.

The threats came from Councillor Dr Y Kumar, who represents Bathwick ward. Dr Kumar, referring to the female Councillor, said in an email that he feels “thankful to God that perhaps he has chosen me to eradicate an evil person” and has recently confirmed that his view has not changed.

We believe that he has been advised by the Police about his future behaviour.

It seems that the Lib Dems are not the only organisation to suffer from Dr Kumar’s hostility. We have been made aware of repeated failed litigation by him against another local organisation. He is also taking legal action against a Councillor and bizarrely he is trying to take three of our members to an employment tribunal despite never having been an employee of the Lib Dems.

For three years he repeatedly subjected his main target to a vendetta of criticism and unfounded complaints. She has bravely continued to work hard for her local residents despite on one occasion being rushed to hospital by ambulance with potentially fatal high blood pressure levels.

As a Party, we have clear and non-negotiable expectations of our Councillors that they must abide by the Nolan principles of public life, share Liberal Democrat values, act at all times with honesty and integrity, and work as a team.

As Dr Kumar has himself disclosed, we told him late last year that he would not be allowed to stand for re-election as a Liberal Democrat. On Christmas Day he announced his resignation from the Party to become an independent.

We firmly reject all prejudice and discrimination of any kind and take seriously any complaint. Dr Kumar’s allegations have been thoroughly investigated three times - by a barrister on behalf of B&NES Council, by Avon and Somerset police, and by our own independent complaints process under a panel from outside the area.

All three investigations found nothing to support Dr Kumar’s assertions, but he refused to accept their verdicts and has continued to repeat his discredited accusations. Endlessly repeating false claims does not make them true. We would be happy for the investigators’ reports to be published but that decision is outside our control.

We tried hard to help Dr Kumar with his problems, and he received a very large amount of support and pastoral care from the Party. But sadly, it was all to no avail. We are disappointed that he has repaid our help with unwarranted abuse.

We regret having to make this statement but Dr Kumar’s stream of false allegations against us has left us with no choice but to defend our members and put the record straight.

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