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Who Wants to Lead the Tories On the Council?

Published on: 20 Jun, 2020
Updated on: 22 Jun, 2020

By Martin Giles

The tangled tale of who will be the new leader of the Conservative group on the borough council weaves on. Cllr Paul Spooner (Ash South & Tongham) announced his surprise resignation by Tweet on June 10.

Cllr Paul Spooner

Cllr Spooner was toppled from power as long-term GBC leader in the 2019 elections, his powerful 34 Tory seats slashed to nine and then, following a defection, just eight.

Now reports say the surviving Tory group’s virtual meeting on the leadership, thought to have been attempted online on Tuesday (June 16), had to be abandoned because of technical glitches.

Cllr Spooner’s deputy, Nigel Manning (Ash Vale), is understood to have stepped up as a temporary leader until an election can be held and attended a scheduled GBC party leaders’ meeting to discuss the Covid-19 situation on Wednesday, June 17.

Cllr Nigel Manning

Some observers feel Cllr Spooner, having resigned, will stand for re-election as part of a “put-up-or-shut-up” move. This could explain the enigmatic “… for now :)” at the end of his Tweet. One who knows the local party well said they would “put money on it”.

Another reliable source said Cllr Spooner felt he could not continue as leader being “continually undermined” by Cllr Manning and Marsha Moseley (Ash Vale), who is Cllr Manning’s partner.

Whether anyone else in the group really wants the role remains part of the mystery.

See also: Conservative Group Leadership Meeting Delayed

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test 3 Responses to Who Wants to Lead the Tories On the Council?

  1. Jules Cranwell Reply

    June 21, 2020 at 7:51 am

    If the few remaining Tory councillors have any sense they won’t elect either Nigel Manning or Marsha Moseley as their new leader. They will never improve their election chances with either.

  2. Mike Murphy Reply

    June 21, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    Let’s hope after the disastrous “leadership” of Paul Spooner none of the long-serving Tories will be re-elected, and in the meantime, they just show some humility.

    I am sure Cllr Spooner will try to engineer a comeback which would definitely put the Tories in the wilderness for years to come.

  3. Kevin Dewey Reply

    June 23, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    We get the politicians we elect. As most folk are indifferent to local politics, normally unsuitable people get in and when they under-perform the electorate says “that’s why I don’t vote”.

    It’s the perfect self fulfilling prophecy. I wish there was a better way.

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