Sutton LibDems expel councillor for alleging corruption

Sutton Council’s Liberal Democrats are proving themselves to be most illiberal and not very democratic, after they managed to kick a councillor, Nick Mattey, out of their party for daring to try to represent the interests of residents in his ward and their simple desire to be able to breathe clean air.

Sutton councillor Nick Mattey: suspended by the LibDems for questioning their policy on the Viridor incinerator

Sutton councillor Nick Mattey: expelled by the LibDems

Mattey is a councillor for Beddington North, where Sutton are allowing Viridor to build an industrial-scale waste incinerator.

Planning permission for the incinerator was granted by Sutton soon after Viridor’s charity arm had made grants of nearly £1.5 million to “good causes” in the constituencies of three south-west London LibDem MPs: St Vince Cable, “Sir” Ed Davey and the party’s only London MP still in office, Carshalton and Wallington’s Tom Brake.

Sutton, together with Croydon and two other boroughs, are part of the South London Waste Partnership which decided to award a £1 billion, 25-year contract to Viridor to burn domestic rubbish at Beddington under circumstances which failed to meet usual standards of governance in public office, and were also highlighted by Mattey.

Mattey was hauled up before the beak at the National Liberal Club last week and called to account for his opposition to the incinerator, and for being the whistle-blower who exposed Viridor’s generous “gifts”. Mattey was accused of “conduct which has brought or is likely to bring the party into disrepute”.

Mattey was suspended from the party’s group whip on the LibDem-controlled Sutton Council last year. He has been conducting his work since as an independent councillor. Last week’s hearing was to rule on his membership of the party.

The LibDem disciplinary panel decided that because the council had determined to build the incinerator before Mattey was elected as a councillor, neither he, nor residents in his ward, had any right to an opinion.

The Liberal Democrats' disciplinary committee gets ready for the Mattey inquiry

The Liberal Democrats’ disciplinary committee gets ready for the Mattey inquiry

“Following your election you became increasingly outspoken in your attempt to overturn this decision including allegations of impropriety and corruption,” the LibDem ruling against Mattey stated. “The group worked hard to accommodate your deeply held views on incineration but unfortunately these overrode your wider responsibility to the group and the party leading to your suspension.”

So that’s clear then: LibDem councillors are responsible to their group and party before the electorate.

The Liberal Democrats disciplinary hearing did lean towards farce. Or resemble a kangaroo court. “The panel kept their identities secret,” Mattey told Inside Croydon. “We had to ask for special dispensation to find them. It did have elements of the Spanish inquisition, without the pointed hats.”

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in Business, Environment, Nick Mattey, Refuse collection, Sutton Council, Waste incinerator and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Sutton LibDems expel councillor for alleging corruption

  1. Pollution in the City hit the top “black” alert as the latest figures showed tiny killer toxins in London’s air still claiming more than 3,000 lives a year.
    and South London?
    “Eleven boroughs saw a RISE of 0.2, including several leafy suburbs in south London.They were Bromley, Croydon, Ealing, Hounslow, Kensington & Chelsea, Lambeth, Merton, Richmond, Sutton, Wandsworth and Westminster which now has a rate of 7.9.”
    Planning decisions taken in Sutton will result in TERRIBLE air pollution in Croydon,seriously and permanently damginfgchildren’s health.Planning a school in the middle of the Purley black cloud is criminally negligent.Calling it Wung Yip’s, as a diversion,also misses Beijing’s and Hong Kong’s outstanding reputation in the field ! Home from home !

  2. veeanne2015 says:

    It is a sad reflection of the times that Council ‘Cabinets’ of a dozen or so people can make decisions that will seriously affect constituents’ lives, and opposition from their own party members because of potentially health damaging results to residents, environment and wildlife is ignored, stifled and squashed.
    This undemocratic attitude of party solidarity being more important than residents, and opposition must be ‘exterminated’ surely brings the party into far more disrepute than any individual’s action, particularly in the interest of the community.

  3. croydonres says:

    Good on Cllr Mattey to stand up to this pathetic Lib Dem kangaroo court. They have shown their true colours which is, like their logo, a sickly shade of yellow. I sincerely hope that the whole stinking mess is the subject of a public enquiry.

    To be frank, all parties involved in the SW London Waste Plan should hang their heads in shame.
    That’s the trouble, shame is something that only people with a conscience have, if hey do something deeply wrong.

    So well done Cllr M. You at least can stand proud and look voters in the eye and know that you tried.
    I hope that the locals will thank you by voting you in next time, should you decide to stand again.

Leave a Reply