Under Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrats have managed to secure multiple defectors, including recently, former Tory MP, Phillip Lee. Mr Lee, MP for Bracknell, joined the Liberal Democrats over their anti-Brexit stance but following his arrival, the chair of his new party’s LGBT + Liberal Democrats group, Jenni Rigg resigned.
Another member of the executive, Sarah Brown also left the party following Mr lee’s arrival.
In an announcement on Twitter, on Friday night, yet another member of the group, Zoe O’Connell has announced that she is leaving the party.
In her statement, Ms O’Connell said: “I have just resigned from the Liberal Democrats.
“That’s 2 chairs of LGBT + Lib Dem Group, the party has lost in a week.
Brexit news: Liberal Democrats in crisis
Brexit news: Ms Swinson was recently elected as leader
“The party has lost its way on equality & decided to be nothing more than an anti-Brexit party.”
Part of the reason for the sudden flow of resignations from the LGBT group is due to Mr Lee’s recent voting history on same-sex marriage.
Mr Lee opposed same-sex marriage and also campaigned to bar people with HIV from being able to come to the UK.
Despite Mr Lee’s past comments, Ms O’Connell insisted that there were “bigger issues at play” concerning her resignation.
JUST IN: Lib Dem political stunt backfires: Members quit party in protest
Brexit news: The Liberal Democrats have been on a recruitment drive of late
She added: “This was not just about Lee’s HIV comments.
“It wasn’t even just about Lee. There were bigger issues at play – the parliamentary party not talking to LGBT+ for years, deselecting LGBT+ candidates, not dealing with disciplinary cases.
“I hope at some point in future the party can have an LGBT+ version of the Alderdice review.”
Over the last few months, the party has seen an upswell in support over its clear anti-Brexit stance.
Meghan and Harry on Brexit charm offensive in Africa
Brexit Party MEP issues dire warning on imminent EU army dream
Boris Johnson’s Brexit proposals ‘childish’ EU chiefs are dismissing
Brexit news: Ms Berger recently joined the party
Brexit news: Chuka Umunna and Sarah Wollaston
During the summer, the pro-Remain party also performed well in both the European and local council elections.
Such was there growing influence, that the party managed to secure former Labour MP Chuka Umunna.
More recently, the party also obtained Sarah Wollaston and Luciana Berger.
Adding newly elected MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, Jane Dodds, and the party has secured five MPs in recent weeks.
Vote Remain and Leave
However, amid reports that Mr Umunna and Ms Berger will be moved from their constituencies to challenge elsewhere, some party activists have criticised the party.
One told the Guardian: “People are fed up with celebrity MP entryism.
“Hardworking candidates are being yanked out of their seats or pressured not to stand.”
Brexit news: Jane Dodds
Moreover, the party has joined Labour, the SNP, Greens and Pali Cymru in banding together to oppose Boris Johnson’s plans to call an early election.
Mr Johnson’s initial attempt had failed during the week but he will bring it back to Parliament on Monday hoping to finally obtain the required majority.
Attack the opposition parties, Mr Johnson warned that they were making an “extraordinary political mistake”.
Moreover, he argued that an election is the only thing that will allow the Government to “get on” with delivering Brexit by the end of October.