Alliance calls on Councillor Harbinson to resign seat

The Alliance Party in North Down has said Councillor Adam Harbinson must resign his Council seat immediately, saying that as a co-optee and not an elected Councillor he has lost all credibility to continue.

Councillor Adam Harbinson – who formally announced he had left the party this weekend – was appointed as a Councillor by the Alliance Party, not the electorate, to replace well respected Alderman Tony Hill on 26 March 2012. This was done under the new co-option procedure introduced in 2010.

Commenting on the shock move, Group leader Councillor Andrew Muir said: “We are all rather astonished that Adam has decided to leave the party and is considering joining the DUP merely eight months after being chosen to replace the late Alliance Alderman Tony Hill.

“Adam has no moral authority to retain the Council seat won by Tony Hill and the Alliance Party. Adam communicated his decision to leave the party via email stating ‘if a man does not have integrity he has nothing’. We therefore call upon him to demonstrate such integrity and allow the Alliance Party to select a new person for the seat.

Commenting on a possible move to the DUP, Councillor Muir said: “We are amazed that Adam Harbinson is considering moving to the DUP in light of previous statements concerning the border (see under Note to Editors). It seems that this possible switch is more about self-interest and forthcoming elections after previously failing to get elected when a candidate in Ballyholme and Groomsport during 2011 Local Government Elections.

Addressing Adam Harbinson’s previous issues with regards to Same Sex Civil Marriage, Councillor Muir added: “Whilst Adam voted and spoke against the recent Council motion concerning Same Sex Civil Marriage, no disciplinary action was taken despite his apparent U-turn on the issue.

“We recognised this is a difficult and sensitive issue for some and allowed Adam latitude despite party policy concerning the matter as adopted on 1 September 2012. Any attempt to use this issue as justification to leave the Alliance Party is a smokescreen to hide his own personal interests and lack of integrity.”

Note to Editors

Adam Harbinson’s Facebook profile states:

About Adam

I have always been politically aware, if not politically active. I was in the Ulster Unionist Party in the late sixties/early seventies. Those were the days of ‘Vote early, Vote often’ when gerrymandering was considered the norm in the interest of maintaining a Protestant State for a Protestant People.

But an Alliance heart beat in my breast, before there was an Alliance Party. I’ll tell you why I can say that. David Ford was being interviewed on TV one evening. The interviewer asked, ‘What is your position on the Border?’ And David answered, ‘Anyone who knows anything about the Alliance Party knows that we’re not too concerned about lines on a map!’

Within a week a was a member, six months later I was selected to stand as an Alliance candidate in the May election, another six months on and I became Chairman of the North Down Association of the Party, and now I’m an Alliance Councillor following in the footsteps of the late Alderman Tony Hill – a great public servant.

Local politics is all about serving all the people at their point of need regardless of age or religion or gender or creed or ethnicity. And that’s what I commit myself to.

Adam Harbinson’s previous statement on Same Sex Civil Marriage to Larne Times

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