Annual Council Meeting - 11th June 2014 - Personal Statement

I was elected Leader of the Conservative council group in a secret ballot after the local elections last month and formed a strong prospective cabinet and team in preparation for the year ahead.

It is deeply regrettable that two members of the group were unwilling to accept the democratic decision of their colleagues in the group and did not support the Conservative whip during the vote to elect the Leader of the Council on Wednesday evening.

Because I continue to believe that Conservatives are better at running the Borough than the local Labour alternative, for the unity of the Conservative group I stood down as Leader, and subsequently supported our new Leader in the reconvened votes.

It has been a thoroughly unpleasant few days. The mayor-making evening was wrecked. The Conservative Group has split into factions and friendships have been ended. I hope that local Conservatives can come together, but previous examples of Leaders being replaced in such circumstances do not lead me to be optimistic.

I will be considering my own future over the coming weeks.

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