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‘Lukewarm’ Reception for ‘Independent’ Tory Spooner at Official Party ‘Action Day’

Published on: 13 Oct, 2020
Updated on: 13 Oct, 2020

By Martin Giles

Conservative Party members out leafletting were joined by the leader of their GBC ‘independent’ group in Burpham last Saturday (October 10).

Cllr Paul Spooner’s party status appears in doubt after his schism with former colleagues Nigel Manning and his partner Marsha Moseley. The rupture led to splitting the eight Conservative survivors in the borough council into two groups of four.

Cllr Paul Spooner

But despite his self-titled ‘independent’ label, Cllr Spooner (Ash South & Tongham) remains a member of the Guildford Conservative Association and the national party. GCA chair Sallie Barker said: “I am not able to comment on his situation as discussions are still ongoing.”

On Saturday, fellow “Action Day” pamphlet distributors were warned of his attendance and according to one GCA member his welcome was only “lukewarm”. If they hoped his participation would go unnoticed they were disappointed. Mr Spooner, a fan of social media, seemed unable to resist publicising his presence.

Ms Barker added: “We had a great Action Day at Sainsbury’s in Burpham and it was good to see so many of our activists and supporters join us again. Our Action Days are open to members and non-members so anyone is welcome to join us.

“Our aim was to ensure we did not put our residents at risk through our campaigning. We circulated their survey and provided a forum for Angela Richardson MP to meet her constituents. Angela certainly received a lot of positive support.

“Paul is still a member of the Conservative Party and a strong supporter of Guildford, so it was natural for him to join our Action Day.

“We would welcome as many people as possible taking part in our survey:”

When Ms Richardson was interviewed by The Dragon, she declined to comment on Cllr Spooner’s party position.

Responding to Ms Barker’s comment Cllr Spooner said: “As a member of the Conservative Party I continue to support the party in Guildford whenever I can, as do other members of my group at GBC.”

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Responses to ‘Lukewarm’ Reception for ‘Independent’ Tory Spooner at Official Party ‘Action Day’

  1. Paul Spooner Reply

    October 14, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    Lukewarm… really?

    I received a warm welcome from many fellow Conservative supporters last Saturday and I was not aware that a ‘warning’ had been sent out by GCA to members prior to the action day.

    If true I will refrain from further attendance at such political events as the last thing I want to do is embarrass the Guildford Conservative Association.

    If untrue I will expect a retraction and public apology!

    Editor’s response: The Dragon would not knowingly publish lies or invent stories.

    Our information came from reliable Conservative members and “lukewarm” was the word one used.

    “Warned” can simply mean “notified” and we understand the Action Day participants were made aware, in advance, from correspondence relating to Action Day attendance, that you’d be present.

  2. David Roberts Reply

    October 15, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    It appears Surrey County Councillor Matt Furniss joined Cllr Spooner on his walkabout. This is not surprising, since Cllr Furniss, used to be his deputy. Which of the two Conservative Parties does Cllr Furniss now belong to?

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