Cornwall Council has been plunged into
further chaos after one senior cabinet member swapped ruling coalition parties and another was sacked by leader Jim Currie.
Stephen Rushworth, the portfolio holder for the economy and regeneration, says he was hounded out of the executive by the Independent group because he refused to back a plan to raise council tax, which eventually went unsupported by the full council.
Mr Rushworth, a councillor in Padstow
and the only cabinet member to oppose the failed plan to raise council tax, claims the Independents are now in control at the council, despite being the third party.
Conservative group leader Fiona Ferguson, who resigned from the cabinet this year in opposition to the use of "lie detector" tests for residents has accused Mr Currie of "weakness" and said the Independents are now "running the show".
Mrs Ferguson said she no longer considers Mr Currie, who was proposed by the opposition Liberal Democrats after previous leader Alec Robertson was sacked, to be a Conservative, claiming he has effectively become an Independent leader.
Earlier in the day the cabinet member for health Carolyn Rule was said to have left the Conservative group to join the Independents, along with fellow cabinet member and Conservative Lance Kennedy.
Mr Currie denied he was losing a grip on
the authority, accusing Mr Rushworth of having a "beef".
"He is not compatible with the rest of the cabinet, it is as simple as that," he added.