Friday, 1 March 2013

Tories in turmoil (non-Eastleigh edition)

Huge congratulations to Mike Thornton, the new Lib Dem MP for Eastleigh. With the Conservatives coming third behind UKIP, there are sure to be some serious recriminations within Mr Cameron's party.

But these are happening in Cornwall Tories too. Here the Conservatives seem to be imploding as a result of the budget vote on Tuesday when some blues backed the Lib Dem alternative plan for a council tax freeze and investment in services.

A month ago, the cabinet's portfolio holder for finance quit because she didn't approve of the budget drawn up by her own department (apparently she had been on holiday when the decisions were taken). Yesterday we saw one Tory cabinet member fired by the Leader because he voted for the freeze and against the official Cabinet line for a 1.97% rise.

We also saw two (so far) Conservative cabinet members quit their party and become independent. I understand that this is due to the tactics of the Conservative group leader. And I hear that there might be at least one more Tory who will leave the party in the next few days.

The Conservatives were already in three factions in County Hall. Now it seems that at least two of those factions are falling apart. And the war between the different factions is becoming both public and personal.

Council Leader Jim Currie on Steve Rushworth, the cabinet member he sacked yesterday saying he had "a beef" and "He is not compatible with the rest of the cabinet, it is as simple as that." 

Meanwhile, group leader Fiona Ferguson (who quit the cabinet last month) said she no longer considers Mr Currie to be a Conservative, claiming he has effectively become an Independent leader.

Elections in Cornwall are in two months and one day.

1 comment:

Toni Mills said...

Surely two months is far too long for such a big organisation to drift on without anyone knowing who is in charge? How can either of the political parties campaign in May on the basis of the last six months? If the 'new' councillors elected in May cooperate as badly as those currently in post, what happens?