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Cornwall Council's tory leader faces axe in public vote

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 16, 2012

Alec Robertson

Alec Robertson

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Cornwall Council leader Alec Robertson faces a back-bench rebellion and a public sacking as councillors decide whether to remove him from his position today.

The Tory leader has been called to an emergency meeting at County Hall after grass-roots members unhappy at plans to privatise council services collected enough signatures to force a debate.

Opponents have formed a cross-party coalition of Liberal Democrats, rebel Tories, Independents and Cornish nationalists determined to remove the controversial Conservative, who has been repeatedly criticised for ignoring the will of the wider council.

Councillors campaigning to secure enough votes to oust Mr Robertson are yet to secure the backing of more than half of the membership of 123 councillors and claim the result is "too close to call".

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However, with around nine of Mr Robertson's own Tory group stubbornly refusing to give him their support, the issue is now thought to be out of the leader's hands.

And with a number of absentees expected across the political parties, one councillor recovering from major surgery and another seat vacant, some say the target to depose the leader has already been reached.

One member of the Conservatives said the cabinet has been furiously canvassing members all weekend in a bid to swing a number of key votes Mr Robertson's way.

If Mr Robertson loses the vote, former deputy leader Jim Currie is expected to emerge as the new leader.

Mr Currie resigned from the Cabinet over the "shared services" plans and could secure a majority by offering to postpone the controversial sell-off plans until after next year's elections.

Under the council's constitution a new leader must be elected at the meeting.

Watch the meeting live via webcast here.

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  • shagrats  |  October 16 2012, 12:53PM

    If only he had just asked people what they wanted, rather than decided what they should have. Please now councillors grow some B***s and stick up for the good of cornwall and not get booged down in party politics. Oh and can you please tell us what it looks like from the back of the Dole Que Mr Robertson. Also we need to find out what his golden handshake will be.

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  • 4becks  |  October 16 2012, 12:00PM

    You must stop the sell off at all costs! Has no-one learned anything fromt he sell of of our utilities? Look at the fixing scandal that the big 4 energy companies have got away with! You will be just causing decades of misery for the low paid workers of Cornwall, adn give the opportunity to lodon based tory spivs to pay low wages to those delivering the services and suck the profit out of the county and the country to their offshore tax havens. Privatisation means RIP OFF BRITAIN!!!

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