Rugby ex-Tory councillor refuses by-election - The Rugby Observer

Rugby ex-Tory councillor refuses by-election

Rugby Editorial 22nd Oct, 2015 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

CALLS have been made for a by-election in a borough council ward following a sitting councillor’s controversial departure from the Conservative party – which has been described as “an insult to democracy”.

Coun David Ellis, who represents Wolston and the Lawfords, confirmed he would sit as an independent after the council voted earlier this month to continue discussing all options on the West Midlands Combined Authority, a move which he opposes.

Tory council leader Coun Michael Stokes then told The Observer Coun Ellis had been forced out of the party “due to a number of issues”, something Coun Ellis has refuted in this week’s letters page.

While the war of words continues, outsiders have called for Coun Ellis to step down and allow a by-election to take place.

Rugby Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) spokesperson Pete McLaren, also a resident of Coun Ellis’ ward, said he should “put his new allegiance to the test”.

He said: “Coun Ellis was elected as a Tory councillor last year, just 18 months ago. He was elected as a Party representative in a relatively marginal ward, and it is probable he would not have won the seat if he had stood as the Independent he now claims to be.

“Coun Ellis represents Wolston and the Lawfords despite living the other side of Rugby. That is perfectly acceptable constitutionally, but it means local people like me, who live in the ward, never see him. On top of that, Coun Ellis no longer represents the party he was elected so to do.

“In these circumstances, he should do the honest thing and resign, enabling the voters to decide if they will continue to give him their support.”

Coun Ellis declined a request for further comment.

However, in a letter to The Observer this week, he said he had no intention to resign.

He said: “While I have left the local Conservative party over the West Midlands Combined Authority, I will continue to represent those who live in the villages forming the Wolston and the Lawfords Ward with my characteristic energy and dedication.”


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