Tory rebels are ousted following defiance over budget

By Nub News Reporter

29th Feb 2024 | Local News

Cllrs Jack Duffin (left) and Alex Anderson.
Cllrs Jack Duffin (left) and Alex Anderson.

THURROCK Council has moved into no overall control following a rebellion by two Conservative councillors at last night's (Wednesday, 29 February) meeting.

At the meeting the proposed budget from the ruling Conservative group was passed by a substantial majority as Labour members abstained rather than block it.

The majority of members of the Conservative group did support it, but two - Cllrs Jack Duffin and Alex Anderson, who both represent the Stanford East and Corringham Town ward - joined two independent members in voting against the budget.

That was in defiance of a Tory group ruling to support the budget.

Nub News understands that both members had the Conservative whip removed as a disciplinary measure. Cllr Anderson remains listed as a COnservative on the council's website this evening, but Cllr Duffin has announced he has resigned and has become independent.

The change of allegiance by Cllr Duffin means that the Conservatives no longer have a majority, even if Cllr anderson remains.

At present there are 24 Conservatives and 19 Labour members. Five independent members sit together under the group name Non-Political Alliance of Independent Councillors and Cllr Duffin now sits alone.

Cllr Duffin, was first elected as a UKIP member in 2016 and switched to the Independent Group after the EU referendum. He later joined the Conservative ranks and was re-elected under their flag in 2021.

He had already indicated he would not be restanding when his term of office ends in May.

Cllr Anderson has a year to run before the new borough-wide 'all seat election' in May 2025. He has not commented on his future plans.

No statement has been issued as yet by the Conservative group.

The changes are likely to make little difference to proceedings at the council, with just two months to go and a limited number of meetings scheduled to take place as the election approaches.


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