Lib Dem regional party secretary Dave Browne threatens legal action and suspension to 21 year old Plym Membership officer for raising questions about 2007-2008 accounts.

13 May

Below the secretary of Devon & Cornwall Liberal Democrats, Mr Dave Browne responds to the newly elected 21 year old  membership officer of the Plymouth Party (Tom Sale) who raised concerns about missing party accounts and whether someone known to be responsible for the missing accounts should be on the Plymouth party exec (Stephen Goldthorpe). Dave Browne responds by threatening to suspend the membership of Tom Sale and implying that legal action against him. Despite known concerns about Stephen Goldthorpe the regional Lib Dem party put him up as an approved candidate for the Plymouth City Council elections 2010.

Regional party secretary, Dave Browne also claims that the regional party and the electoral commission investigated the Plymouth accounts and that no substantive issues were found. This Blog can reveal that this is not true as the electoral Commission have said that they were never informed of the missing money and that they are presently considering an investigation into criminal proceedings relating to the 2007-2008 Plymouth Party accounts. Did Dave Browne know about the missing money in 2007-2008? Was he involved in the regional investigation? Did he help cover it up?

From: Dave Browne []
Sent: 17 January 2010 10:57
To: (s) Thomas Sale
Subject: Your Stephen Goldthorp e-mail
Your e-mail of the 16th January, subject ‘Stephen Goldthorp’ has been passed to me
by a concerned member.
Can I make a few points:
1. The matters you refer to were investigated by both the Regional Party’s
Investigator (A former Regional Treasurer) and the Electoral Commission (who police
the PPERA). Both came to the conclusions that there was no action to be taken.
2. Since these matter have been correctly dealt with, your pursuing them could leave
you open to legal action by the person you are defaming.
3. Suspending people in the Liberal Democrat Party is only done in the most extreme
cases where their membership revocation is underway. It must be done formally in
line with the English Party’s Membership Rules Section 7.0. If you have not followed
these to the letter then you could be subject to disciplinary action yourself.
4. These matters occurred before you took office, and therefore should not concern
you, obviously you have only been given part of the story. Beware of people who only
tell you half of the truth for their own ends. The Plymouth Party should be fighting
to beat the Tories and Labour to get Liberal Democrats elected, not trying to
justify certain deluded persons’ vanity trips.
Dave Browne
Secretary, Devon & Cornwall Liberal Democrats
Information in this email is confidential and may be privileged. It is intended for
the addressee only. If you have received it in error, please notify the sender
immediately and delete it from your system. You should not otherwise copy it,
retransmit, nor use or disclose its contents. Unless explicitly stated, details in
this message do not reflect the opinion of the Liberal Democrats. Thank you for your
Dear executive members,
I have been very concerned by the fact that Stephen is part of our executive
committee. I would like to remind you all of what was disscussed at the AGM,
regarding the accounts for the 2007 financial period. Stephen was the treasurer for
that period, and the lack of information regarding the accounts caused a lot of
tension amongst the members. Having read the constitution and also the Political
Parties Elections, and Referendum Act 2000, I am now aware that the party is in
breach of law regarding keeping accurate records of the accounts for a period of 6
years and making these accounts available to the electoral commision. To summarise
Stephen Goldthorp is responsible for the missing accounts and I do not think it very
wise to have him as a member of the executive whilst the accounts are investigated
(decision of AGM) and we do not know whether he is implicated in anything worse.
Therefore as an executive member I think it prudent that Stephen is temporarily
suspended from the executive whilst the accounts are investigated, subject to the
findings of the investigation.

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