Former city council chief, Warren Bradley, has resigned as the leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool amid allegations of possible election fraud.
He has also been suspended by his party while an investigation is being carried out.
Mr Bradley denies he nominated his 18 year-old son Daniel as a council electoral candidate for Liverpool Central without his knowledge, and that he allegedly falsely witnessed the nomination papers which had not been signed by his son.
In an email to colleagues within Liverpool City Council, Mr Bradley confirmed his resignation. He said: “I have today been accused by the media of putting my son’s name forward to stand for election, without his knowledge. I cannot say too much at this stage for obvious reasons, but to inform you I totally deny this allegation and am seeking legal advice to that end.”
Speaking to the Liverpool Daily Post, Daniel Bradley said:
“I went in to see who signed for me. I did not put my name
down. But I was told it was too late [to withdraw]. I went to
have a look at the nomination paper and it was not my
signature. I am not political at all.”
As leader of the Liberal Democrats, Mr Bradley told JMU
Journalism he had vowed to return to power after being
defeated by Labour in the May elections last year.
Mr Bradley has been a vocal critic of his party's involvement
with the Conservatives in Westminster, claiming last week
the Lib Dems could "disappear into the annals of history" at
the local elections on 5th May if Nick Clegg, the Deputy PM,
did not pull his party out of the coalition.
His call to the party leader brought Bradley into the national spotlight last week, but Mr Clegg rejected his bid to break up the Lib Dems' alliance with the Conservatives. As Lib Dem leader, Mr Bradley forged a coalition of his own with the ruling Labour party on Liverpool City Council, though relations soured when a controversial budget cuts package was finally agreed.
A Lib Dem spokesperson said: "We can confirm that Warren Bradley 's resignation has been accepted with immediate effect. The party takes allegations of this nature extremely seriously and has launched an internal inquiry. We are also cooperating with all other relevant authorities.
"Flo Clucas will take up the role of acting leader until a leadership election can take place."
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said: “These are very serious allegations. We are investigating them ourselves and they are being looked at by the authorities, but I am not going to provide a running commentary."
By Chris Bradley, Website Editor
More JMU Journalism stories
Former Liberal Democrat leader Warren Bradley on election night 2010; ballot papers for local candidates
© Trinity Mirror