EAST Staffordshire Borough Council came under a new leader last night as Councillor Richard Grosvenor was toppled by his colleagues.
Members of the authority voted in favour of replacing the former leader with Labour’s Councillor Julian Mott after a lengthy debate.
Labour members were supported by the so-called Tory rebels, who defected from the party last year, prompting cries from Tory members that this was a ‘kick in the teeth for democracy’.
Just before the vote ousting him was taken Richard Grosvenor said: “This is a motion motivated by political vengeance and vindictiveness which does not suit the majority of residents. This is sticking two fingers up to the residents.”
During the debate Labour councillor Bill Ganley said: “For me this is down to the judgement of Councillor Grosvenor and his attitude all along.”
Councillor Julia Jessell said: “I think it’s regrettable, this is personal.”
Labour’s Dennis Fletcher, who represents Winshill on the borough council and tabled the motion for Councillor Grosvenor’s removal, said: “If you want a simple reason why we’re doing this, it’s because we can. This is politics. The Tories can no longer claim a majority of votes in this chamber. We can, we have, we do and will."
Speaking before the meeting, councillor Mott said: “Certainly in my experience I have never known it to happen after 23 years on the council. It is not something we have taken lightly.”