THE DUBLIN NORTH TD Clare Daly has resigned from the Socialist Party, according to a statement posted on its website this afternoon.
The party says that the fundamental reason for her resignation is that she “now places more value on her political connection with Independent TD Mick Wallace than on the political positions and work of the Socialist Party”.
The party say that Daly, who was elected to the Dáil at the last election in 2011, handed in a letter of resignation yesterday.
The now independent TD could not immediately be reached for comment this afternoon.
In a lengthy statement posted to its website the party – whose sole representative in the Dáil is now the Dublin West TD Joe Higgins – says that it regrets that after many years working in the party Daly has decided to resign.
The statement says that Daly’s support for Wallace, who has been embroiled in controversy over the tax affairs of his company, has “potentially damaged the reputation” of the party and potentially undermined its campaign against household and water taxes.
The statement says: “Over the last number of months, Clare’s political connection to Mick Wallace, who engaged in tax evasion and the falsification of VAT returns, has damaged her reputation but also, by implication, has potentially damaged the reputation of the Socialist Party.
“Clare’s approach has unfortunately also given the establishment and sections of the media the opportunity to attempt to undermine the Campaign Against Household & Water Taxes (CAHWT), which is a vital campaign in the battle against the disastrous policies of austerity.
“The Socialist Party condemned Mick Wallace’s actions and demanded that he use whatever resources he has to pay the outstanding money immediately to the Revenue Commissioners. We did not go along with the chorus of demands for his immediate resignation.
“This was not because we in any way support Mick Wallace. It was because we think it is the place of voters, not the pro big business media to determine who should be a TD.”
It goes on to accuse Daly of “reckless misjudgement” in her promotion of of Wallace to the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes (CAHWT) and says that she ignored advice on how to resolve her growing differences with the party.
It continues: “Clare’s resignation reflects the fact that her actions and approach resulted in a complete breakdown in the political and working relations between her and the Socialist Party nationally, in the Dáil and between her and the branches of the Socialist Party in the Dublin North constituency.
“This situation also reflected two aspects in Clare’s approach that unfortunately have become apparent since her election as a TD in February 2011.
“Clare has tended to politically orientate to the Independent members of the Technical Group in the Dáil. This has gone beyond working on specific issues to build the strongest possible campaigns, which is an approach we agree with.
“In Clare’s case, it was also co-operation and collaboration of a broader political character with Independents instead of trying to build the profile of the United Left Alliance (ULA) and a new left movement on a principled left and socialist basis.
“Clare has also not worked in a genuinely collective way with her colleagues in the Socialist Party. Instead, she has avoided democratic discussion as well as the democratic check and accountability of the party’s elected structures and members. Democratic discussion and the accountability of public representatives is essential in any party that claims to represent working class people.”
The party acknowledged that the news will come as a shock and a setback to activists in the labour and trade union movement but says that it will continue to “argue for a socialist alternative” through Higgins, its MEP Paul Murphy and its six councillors.