Rochdale Lib Dems call for Council Leader’s resignation

  • Councillor Andy Kelly says that Rochdale has no confidence in controversial Council Leader.
  • He dubs under fire Council Leader ‘duplicitous’.
  • Lib Dems plan to put ‘no confidence’ motion to next Borough Council Meeting.

The Liberal Democrats in Rochdale have called for the immediate resignation of Richard Farnell as both leader of Rochdale Council and as Councillor for Balderstone and Kirkholt. Councillor Andy Kelly, Leader of the Borough’s Liberal Democrats was speaking after Councillor Farnell gave evidence to the government’s national inquiry on child abuse. Councillor Farnell was previously Council Leader at Knowl View boys’ school during the 1980s and 1990s.

Councillor Kelly said: “I simply cannot believe the performance of Richard Farnell. That Councillor Farnell did not know anything about Knowl View during his time as leader is simply breathtaking. It beggars belief. To hear him repeatedly deny that he had not been informed of abuse at Knowl View is at best grossly incompetent for a Council leader. What confidence can the people of Rochdale, council workers and other elected members have in this man?

“He has been dupliticious and that makes me really angry. He called a Labour Council colleague a ‘liar’ and stated he was too busy electioneering than protecting the most vulnerable at the time. I will be approaching the Labour and Conservative Groups on Rochdale Council to start the process of getting rid of Mr Farnell. He should stand down from the Council after a disgraceful performance that brings shame to our Borough.”

Nigel Sarbutts, the Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Heywood and Middleton added: “Some very senior people knew what was going on and Richard Farnell denies all knowledge. How on earth can such a massive issue go unnoticed by the leader of the council? It is hard to believe that were no rumours or local knowledge.

“This needs putting to bed now. Politicians of all backgrounds have been implicated but the Labour Party in Rochdale need to act. I would like to ask Tony Lloyd, Rochdale’s current MP, what he will do about this mess? There can be no confidence in the Labour Party in this borough now.”