Just six days after being selected to fight the Leicester South by-election for the LibDem’s Parmjit Gill declared:
“Given much reflection and after talking with my family, it is with regret that I have decided to stand down as a candidate for the by-election. I remain committed to the people of Leicester and am proud to represent the Liberal Democrats, but I have a very young family and I fear the toll that fighting the by-election with all the commitment and dedication it deserves would be too much.”
Gill was the MP for the seat after the 2004 by-election, but lost it in the 2005 election. Despite being a MP for just under three hundred days, he managed to rack up a huge £185,089.00 in expenses. A glorious £682.98 per day on top of his salary.
But it gets murkier. The internal LibDem Returning Officer for the 2005 General Election selection process, won by Gill obviously, sent the following memo to Cowley Street. It mysteriously reappeared in the comments section on LibDemVoice in the last couple of days:
“I think it is apparent that there are a large number of members, mostly if not wholly from the Sikh community, who have a strong personal loyalty to Parmjit Gill, even though some of them don’t seem to like him very much, and may not actually share the aspirations of other members. There are some anomalies in the membership: there were two dead people (who had been dead for over a year) on the list of 88 members whose subscriptions were renewed by telephone last April using Parmjit Gill’s credit card. There are also two people who have, according to Sumal Fernando, given him a signed statement, which he has passed to me, which states that they are not Liberal Democrats and have never been members of the Party, but their names are on the same list. There is some suspicion that some members are not in possession of membership cards, and have not themselves paid a subscription.”
Or maybe he just completely forgot he had a young family before he put himself up for selection again…
UPDATE: Word is that the powers that be at Cowley Street told Parmjit to “quit or be fired”.