Bearsden councillor quits Conservatives over lack of 'honesty'

A Bearsden councillor has resigned from the Conservatives over a lack of “honesty” at UK, Scottish and Association level.
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Sheila Mechan, who represents Bearsden North, said it was “a wrench” to leave after being a supporter of the Conservative party for 50 years.

As of this month, she will serve as an Independent councillor until the council elections in May.

In a statement on her official Facebook page, Sheila posted: “I wrote to Douglas Ross informing him that I was resigning from the Conservative Party.

"My values are not currently being represented at UK, Scottish or Association party level.

"One of my most cherished values is honesty.

“I will continue to work hard on behalf of the residents of Bearsden as I sit as an Independent councillor for the remainder of my elected term.”

In response to many well-wishers on social media, she posted that quitting the party she had supported for half a century was “one of the saddest things I have ever done.”

She added: “It’s a wrench for sure.”

Ms Mechan was elected to serve in the Bearsden ward in 2017, and was also the Conservative candidate for East Dunbartonshire in the General Election that same year.

Speaking to the Herald, Councillor Mechan said she had been “dissatisfied with Scottish Tories at Association level” and complained of alleged “cronyism”.

The employment lawyer added: “My standards are higher and I felt compromised as a Councillor and as a lawyer.”

One party member praised her for her stance, posting: “If enough people have the courage to speak out, hopefully someone will listen.”

East Dunbartonshire Council joint leader Councillor Andrew Polson (Conservative Bearsden South) would not comment on Councillor Mechan’s resignation or complaints.

Instead, he referred the Herald to the Scottish Conservatives Central Office.

Meanwhile, a Scottish Conservative spokesperson would only say: “We are very sorry to see Sheila leave the party and wish her well in the future.”