Former West Lindsey leader quits ‘in disgust’

WLDC EMN-190927-160355001
WLDC EMN-190927-160355001

The Conservatives are set to lose control of West Lindsey District Council as the party’s former leader becomes Independent, blaming ‘disgusting’ decisions at a local and national level.

Coun Jeff Summers was voted out as leader in May this year - and now he has turned his back on the Tories and is in the process of becoming an Independent councillor.

The move will mean West Lindsey District Council will be plunged into a ‘hung’ set up, with no party in overall control.

It comes after the Conservatives shed four seats at this year’s district council elections, while the Liberal Democrats gained five councillors.

And things could get even worse for the Tories with an upcoming by-election in Torksey, following the resignation of Conservative Councillor Stuart Kinch.

The seat is being contested by the Conservative Party, Liberal Democrats, the Brexit Party and the Labour Party, in an election on October 24.

But WLDC leader Giles McNeill says he is not worried about being voted out of office - although he did admit it was a ‘possibility’.

He said: “Let’s be honest, Jeff hasn’t really been in the group since May, so it makes no difference.

“He’s [Jeff Summers] been on that path for a while.

“As I said in May, I plan to be a concentric leader.

“I have been working hard to bring people in from other groups.

“I don’t think there’s going to be a sudden change of leadership.

“I don’t think I’m about to be voted out of office - it’s a possibility, but there won’t be any changes until November [when the first full council meeting is held after the by-election].

“Since I’ve been [leader], everyone has voted for all papers unanimously.

“It’ll just be a continuation of that.

“I will work with people to build a consensus.”