Tory councillor accused of “cyber-squatting” hits back at Lib Dem critics

A CONSERVATIVE councillor and cabinet member who bought the domain name libdemhome.com says he had originally planned to use it to “expose the many poor aspects of modern day Liberal Democracy”.

North East Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrat chairman Neil Morrison complained to Conservative Party Chairman Baroness Sayeeda Warsi that Cllr Martin Curtis was “cyber squatting” after discovering he owned the name for the site.

But after claims his actions were unethical and involved “deliberate misrepresentation or downright deceit”, Cllr Curtis replied: “The Liberal Democrats are currently providing a dreadful standard of opposition in Cambridgeshire.

“Maybe they ought to be focusing on what they do rather than trivial issues like this.”

Cllr Curtis, who represents Whittlesey North on Cambridgeshire County Council and the Kingsmoor ward on Fenland District Council, says he has “owned the domain name for some time”.

“Originally I had planned to use it as a dedicated website to expose the many poor aspects of modern day Liberal Democracy but I have not used it and, as such, it still diverts to my home page.”

Mr Morrison said: “I am not sure if the actions of Mr Curtis are ethical but as you are aware ‘cyber squatting’ is potentially an offence, particularly when it involves deliberate misrepresentation or downright deceit.”

Most Read

In his letter to Baroness Warsi, copied to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Liberal Democrat President Tim Farron, he adds: “I would be grateful for your urgent response as to whether this behaviour is to be expected of our Conservative coalition partners, and indeed whether it is condoned or even encouraged by yourself and the leadership of your party.

“On the other hand, of course, if it is advance notice of the intention of Mr Curtis to defect to the Liberal Democrats, perhaps you would be so kind as to warn him that our membership rules require local parties to determine whether applicants are fit and proper people, or whether their admission would be likely to bring the party into disrepute.

“It is not clear to me that an application by Mr Curtis would necessarily pass such a test.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter