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Sandwell Mayor, Richard Jones, Joins Liberal Democrats

by Sandwell LibDems on 31 March, 2023

Photo of Richard Jones with Morriam Jan and Mark Smith.
Richard (centre) with Councillor Morriam Jan and Mark Smith, Chair of Sandwell Liberal Democrats

Former Labour Councillor and current Mayor of Sandwell, Richard Jones, has joined the Liberal Democrats and will now sit as a Liberal Democrat Councillor.

He has enjoyed his time as Mayor and looks forward to fulfilling his remaining duties as the Borough’s first LGBT+ Mayor. 

Richard, a frontline NHS paramedic, has found that his sexuality doesn’t matter to most people, and that Sandwell is a diverse borough accepting of various minorities. He hopes that his year as Mayor has served as an example to those struggling to accept their true selves.

He has used his year to highlight the work of three good causes, St John Ambulance, LGBT+ in Sandwell Community Group, and New Beginnings Baby Bundles and will continue to promote these charities in his remaining time as Mayor. 

Richard has become increasingly frustrated with the failure of Labour chiefs in Sandwell to not only listen to residents but also with their failure to conduct proper consultation on their plans. Consultation is meaningless unless the Council is prepared to listen and change tentative plans based on the feedback it receives. He now feels that he can serve the community best as a Liberal Democrat councillor. Liberal Democrats are all about working for all in our communities and helping them deal with local problems.

Honorary President of Sandwell Liberal Democrats, Sadie, Smith, and a former Mayor of Sandwell herself, is very pleased to welcome Richard to the local Party. She also noted that Liberal Democrat Councillors have seen periodic attempts to stifle debate and independently minded Labour Councillors being shut down if they raised searching questions in the past.

Chair of Sandwell Liberal DemocratsMark Smith, said:

“I was appalled at Richard’s treatment by the Labour Party, and we are proud to welcome him to an open and tolerant Party. It was disgraceful that they chose to announce his deselection during LGBT+ History Month, undermining the positive image of Sandwell as a tolerant Borough his year as Mayor has brought. 

“It is also good to have a Liberal Democrat Councillor on Sandwell Council again who can hold our Labour administration to account in the same way as our colleagues do on Birmingham City Council. “It is also sad to see that the Labour Group in Sandwell has clearly started being hostile towards questioning voices within its own ranks again, and this indicates a worrying return to the factionalism and dictatorial ways of the Bill Thomas and Darren Cooper regimes, and other more recent times when it has tried to avoid scrutiny. We hope that this does not signal a return to the bitter infighting that has occasionally blighted politics in Sandwell.” 

Councillor Morriam Jan, a Liberal Democrat Councillor on Birmingham City Council added:

“As an elected member for Perry Barr I welcome Richard, who is clearly a genuine passionate Councillor, to our party as a Liberal Democrat.”

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