On November 1, Peterborough City Council will decide if Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald should be replaced as leader. A vote of no confidence is widely expected to remove him – but Peterborough MP Paul Bristow is not best pleased. Here is his statement posted today to his social media account.
I am not a councillor and I try to keep out of council squabbles – BUT if this Labour backed coup happens later this week it will be a travesty of democracy.
There is an Independent Group of 11 councillors. Every single one of them – except the 3 very decent councillors in Werrington – have never been elected as Independents.
They were all elected as Conservatives within the last 3 years. Some were even elected in May 2023 as Conservatives and left just days later. That is a shocker
If Labour put these ballot box dodging independent councillors in charge, they will have given up any right to claim they put Peterborough first.
The truth is the Conservatives won the elections in Peterborough in 2023. We made three gains and elected 30 councillors.
And it was neck and neck in my marginal constituency. Independents did not win. Labour did not win.
They are doing this to satisfy the personal ambitions of one councillor and because Labour wonks (not from Peterborough) think they are being clever.
But Labour (and Lib Dems) should perhaps think again. Peterborough people rarely vote on national issues alone. Being local matters. Swings are low.
The local elections will take place again in May 2024. That is the time for people to vote for the council administration they want. Cutting out the electorate and making back-room deals is not right.
I will work with whoever leads our city. I want the best for Peterborough. But I will also hold them to account. I will also blame Labour if this turns out to be a mess. It will have only happened because of their back room deals.
Labour think they are being clever. But I think they will regret this. And more importantly, Peterborough will resent this
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