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Will There Be A Last Minute Nomination For Tomorrow’s Tory Group Leader Election?

Published on: 10 Nov, 2015
Updated on: 10 Nov, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 12.42.36With the deadline of for nominations passing today, there is no news of further nominations in the contest to become the next Conservative group leader at Guildford Borough Council (GBC).

Cllr Paul Spooner

Cllr Paul Spooner

Unless a last minute nomination arrives the vote at tomorrow’s (November 11) group meeting will be a straight contest between Paul Spooner (Ash South and Tongham) and Dennis Paul (Holy Trinity). Normally the leader of the largest political group is elected, unopposed, as the council leader.

Most regard Cllr Paul, who was only elected as a councillor for the first time in May, as very much the outsider in the race. He himself has said that he was only standing to make it a contest and would withdraw his nomination if another contestant stepped forward.

Cllr Dennis Paul

Cllr Dennis Paul

But it is known that there are those in the Tory group who would like a complete break from the “Ash mafia”, as some label the group of councillors, including Cllr Spooner, from the west side of the borough.

The former group and council leader Stephen Mansbridge, who resigned after his involvement with an “elected mayor petition” was revealed, appointed three of his Ash councillor colleagues on to his eight or nine person Executive which, under the current system of governance, exercises most of the power at GBC.

But Paul Spooner is known to have had his differences with Stephen Mansbridge, in particular about his continued association with former councillor Monika Juneja after her conviction, and unless a strong challenger suddenly emerges, Cllr Spooner, the lead councillor for planning and acting Tory group leader, should easily win the leadership contest.

The official Conservative party line is that the group leadership election is a private affair and no announcements are being made prior to the result.

The council leader election will take place at the next full council meeting scheduled for December 9th.

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