Yesterday (Tuesday), it became clear that Mr and Mrs Bushell were not members of the Liberal Democrat party when they were selected to stand in the May elections.It appears that there is no case for reference to the standards board. But all party candidate vetting procedures that I know of (along the ALDC model) ask: "Is there anything about you which, if it came out, would embarrass the party?"
Noel Thompson, chairman of Torridge and West Devon Liberal Democrats, said it appeared that procedures had broken down at local branch level.
"This is something we are looking into," he said. "People acted in good faith, and the Bushells might have intended to join the party, but they are still not paid-up members.
"We are examining the situation to make sure correct procedures are followed in future."
If someone answered: "I run a sex chatline where I 'talk dirty'" then it is hard to imagine the circumstances where such a person would be waved through enthusiastically with no further questions.
It is a moot point. However, one thing that is perfectly clear is that all LibDem councillors should be members of the party. I have come across the odd occasion when people have not been paid-up members at the time of submitting themselves for candidate approval, but any approval given has been formally (i.e written in a letter) conditional on their joining the party immediately.
Thanks to LibDem Voice.