An Eastbourne Conservative councillor has hit out at former MP Stephen Lloyd.
Tony Freebody, who’s the leader of the Tory group in the town, has called the LidDem a “shameless opportunist” after Mr Lloyd joined Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) members to show his support.
Councillor Freebody believes Mr Lloyd is being a hypocrite, saying he voted for the law, which changed when women receive their money from the Government. Commenting, Councillor Freebody said, “It appears to me Stephen Lloyd will often say and do anything to give the impression he is a principled man fighting injustice when, in this case, it’s quite the opposite – he is a shameless opportunist trying to gain publicity for himself on the back of injustice he helped create.
“He was part of the bill committee and he voted against transitional arrangements. He then voted for the bill, minus transitional arrangements, and it became law.
“I would like to know how he wants to explain that to women born in the 1950s who now find themselves unable to retire or in financial hardship because of what he helped do.
“When I saw he was posing on Facebook with campaigners, who I’m sure do not know about his less than illustrious past in this fiasco, I was frankly flabbergasted at the nerve of the man.”
Councillor Freebody, who is also supporting the WASPI campaign, intends to bring forward a supportive motion to the council’s full meeting in November. He said, “This bad piece of legislation is depriving thousands of women of pensions they thought they would be getting at a much earlier age and I believe the borough council must show its support to them.
“I also think Stephen Lloyd should come clean with the campaigners why he voted for this law.”
In response, Stephen Lloyd has said, “It is a matter of public record, that when I was on the Work and Pensions Select Committee, I lobbied the government hard on their proposed changes to women’s pensions. We succeeded in reducing the affected period from 22 months to 18 months. This was a step in the right direction, but in my opinion still not good enough and I made it very clear to the government of my concerns. Consequently, I have no hesitation whatsoever to continue to lobby for fairness with all those women whose pensions were affected because they were born in the early to mid 50’s.