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Deputies Show Support For Convicted Council Leader

Published on: 13 May, 2013
Updated on: 16 May, 2013

Conservative deputy leaders have today (May 14) shown their support for Council Leader Stephen Mansbridge (Con, Ash South & Tongham) following his conviction for drink driving.

Cllr James Palmer

Cllr James Palmer

Deputy Leader of Guildford Borough Council, Cllr James Palmer, (Con, Shalford) and Deputy Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Monika Juneja, (Con, Burpham) issued a joint statement.

It reads: “As his two deputies, we both want to express our support for Cllr Stephen Mansbridge continuing as the Leader of Guildford Borough Council.

“We do not condone his actions and view drink driving as a serious offence. However, Stephen has acknowledged this, accepted the sentence of the court, and apologised to the people of Guildford.

Cllr Monika Juneja

Cllr Monika Juneja

“Stephen Mansbridge is providing real direction and drive as the Leader of the Council and is pushing forward with an ambitious agenda for the Borough. We will continue supporting him in pursuing that agenda as will, we believe, many other colleagues.”

Other Conservative councillors have conceded, privately, that there is no obvious replacement candidate and that Cllr Mansbridge’s involvement in the North Street redevelopment would make replacement more difficult.

The Conservative Group have a scheduled meeting on Thursday at which the issue is expected to be discussed.


Cllr Christian Holliday

The last leadership change occurred last September when, in a behind the scenes coup, Cllr Mansbridge successfully challenged Tony Rooth for the leadership. Another change only months later might be unpopular.

Cllr Christian Holliday (Con, Burpham), the Vice Chairman (Political) of Guildford’s Conservative Association said: “This is obviously a personal tragedy for Stephen Mansbridge and it is right that he has apologised for this serious mistake. It is not appropriate for me to comment further as the Vice Chairman of the Association until the matter has been discussed by the Conservative Group.”

See also: Council Leader Convicted of Drink Driving Is ‘Deeply Sorry’

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