Page last updated at 20:02 GMT, Monday, 26 January 2009

Trump politician dumps Lib Dems

Martin Ford
Martin Ford used his casting vote on the Trump golf vote

The councillor whose casting vote sparked months of controversy over Donald Trump's 1bn golf complex has resigned from the Liberal Democrats.

Martin Ford, a member of the party for more than 20 years, left following a row in the wake of the affair.

In December 2007, Mr Ford was sacked as Aberdeenshire Council's infrastructure services committee chair after his vote saw the Trump plan thrown out.

Scottish ministers stepped in and later gave the development the go-ahead.

Mr Ford was one of three Lib Dems who announced on Friday they were resigning from the council administration to set up a new group.

I have lost confidence in the party and therefore no longer wish to be a member of it
Councillor Martin Ford
That move threatened the overall control of the local authority.

In a statement explaining his resignation, Mr Ford said: "It has been a very difficult decision to leave. Most of my closest friends are party members. My wife and I met through our involvement in the party. The Liberal Democrats have been a big part of my life.

"However, I have lost confidence in the party and therefore no longer wish to be a member of it."

He added that he remained "totally committed" to the liberal and democratic ideals the party was formed to promote.

Mr Ford has had long-standing environmental issues with the proposals of US tycoon, Mr Trump, who wants to build two golf courses, as well as hundreds of homes, at Menie.

The plan was called in by the Scottish Government after it was rejected by Aberdeenshire Council.

In November last year, Finance Secretary John Swinney backed the development after a public local inquiry.

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