Thurrock Council leader damned by former girlfriend over relationship, breaking covid rules and deceiving borough public

By Neil Speight

14th Jan 2022 | Local News

IN a damning and unsolicited interview this evening (Sunday, 12 December) the former girlfriend of Thurrock Council leader Cllr Rob Gledhill has questioned his right to be the borough's leading councillor, rubbished his assertion that he spent last Christmas with her in a covid bubble and said the people of Thurrock should not trust him.

Stephie Albig is a young, German-born political activist who had a previous relationship with one time Tory, then UKIP MEP, Tim Aker. She moved on in her personal life and struck up a partnership with Mr Gledhill, an older man who had previously courted national publicity by naming the child he had with another young Tory activist Abbie Maguire, after his hero, Tory PM Margaret Thatcher.

The story made national newspaper headlines and was reported by widespread media sources, including the BBC.

In the wake of a Thurrock Nub News story that questioned the principles of Cllr Gledhill after his repeated calls to borough residents to obey covid guidelines Ms Albig felt aggrieved enough to contact news website editor Neil Speight and pour her heart out in an emotional conversation in which she was heavily critical of Cllr Gledhill and said his assertion that he spent last Christmas with her in Norwich in a supportive social bubble was wrong.

Last Christmas Ms Albig posted pictures on Facebook of a meal she enjoyed with Cllr Gledhill in a local restaurant and said today said that his visit to Norfolk was a social one.

Cllr Gledhill is currently in Germany, at Ms Albig's home where he is enjoying a holiday with her parents, despite telling Nub News, in a telephone conversation this evening, that he has had 'nothing to do with Ms Albig for 11 months'.

Ms Albig, who called Mr Speight this evening to say she felt it was important Thurrock residents were aware of Cllr Gledhill's actions, told Nub News: "Your dear council leader is currently sleeping in my family home, sleeping in my bed, cuddling my dog while I am stuck in England."

She said she felt abandoned by Mr Gledhill who had 'used her' and has lied about the reasons why he was in Norfolk last year. She said: "He does not have any family in Norfolk, he was just with me.

"At the time we were friends, I was stupid enough to let him share with me, Christmas. I did not break any rules. We broke up, but he still thinks it's appropriate to stay in my family home.

"To be fair, he helped me to get my house here. He was my guarantor for a house for a while. He helped me for a while. But nowadays it's just a crazy situation."

When questioned, she said that Cllr Geldhill 'came to visit her' in Norfolk and says that he was not part of 'any protective bubble'.

She confirmed that Cllr Gledhill stayed with her from mid December to mid January last year - at a time when many people in Thurrock were coping with the worst that the covid pandemic could throw at them.

During some of that time, he travelled backwards and forwards to Thurrock.

She added: "At the time it happened, I agreed to it but I didn't think he would stay that long."

In December 2020, at the time he was staying in Norfolk, Cllr Gledhill made as address to Thurrock residents saying: "Thurrock is facing a situation every bit as grave as that which we faced in March this year and we must all react appropriately.

"We all need to be cautious, only make journeys if they are absolutely essential and abide by the government advice for tier 4 restrictions.

"The situation in Thurrock is now more serious than it has ever been and we all need to play our part to stop the spread of infection and protect the NHS."

In the wake of a Nub News story last week highlighting criticism of Cllr Gledhill for alleged hypocrisy, a council colleague of Cllr Gledhill told us he travelled to Norfolk last year with his son as a protective measure and to escape problems in Thurrock.

However, Ms Albig denies this and says: "No, I have never met his son in my life."

Speaking to Cllr Gledhill this evening, Nub News offered him the chance to explain what had happened last year, and why he was in Germany in the build up to this Christmas.

Cllr Gledhill said Ms Albig's recollections of events last year were not correct and that he had travelled to Norfolk at the instigation of her parents, to help her as she was suffering mental health problems at the time. He alleges she had threatened to commit suicide and so he felt duty bound to travel to be with her.

He did not explain how or why she then went on social media to share the couple's activities, including an evening in a local restaurant.

Asked when the relationship with Ms Albig was terminated, Cllr Gledhill said it ended last January. Asked why, he said: "She has mental health issues."

Asked why, 11 months after walking away from the relationship where he claimed his former partner had health issues he could not deal with, he found himself in Germany this Christmas with her parents, he said: "They are my friends. I am enjoying a short holiday."

In the wake of that conversation with Cllr Gledhill, Ms Albig's parents have also contacted Thurrock Nub News this evening to ask us not to 'ruin Cllr Gledhill's reputation' saying he 'is a good man'.

Her mother, said: "Our best friend is sitting next to us, our best friend went to Norwich to help our daughter. She begged him several times to go there. He did it only for us. Our daughter has made a great mistake to speak to you."

That is clearly a view not shared by their daughter. Mr Speight asked her: "If someone was to ask you what you thought of Rob Gledhill, what would you say at this point in time." She responded: "Run a mile, he is not trustworthy, not in a million times."

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