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Council leader kicked out

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 17, 2012

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In a day of high political intrigue and backroom manoeuvring, the old leadership of Cornwall Council was swept away by the slimmest of margins.

Just one vote sealed the fate of Conservative Alec Robertson, above, who lost a motion of no confidence.

The machinations and Machiavellian deals rumbled on for hours to decide who would take on a job many considered a poisoned chalice.

When Jim Currie, Conservative, won by just three votes, the immediate aftermath was a rush of four resignations from the cabinet.

Mr Robertson, perhaps licking his wounds, was nowhere to be seen, but his successor was phlegmatic.

"It is going to be extremely difficult," he conceded. The issue of a controversial joint venture with a private sector partner, which had seen Mr Robertson consigned to the back benches of the council chamber, was still a live one, he said.

"We have six months to the election in May and the joint venture is going to be a huge issue."

However, Mr Currie rejected the idea that it was this alone which had propelled the fall of his predecessor.

"I don't think it is just about the joint venture, it was about public dissatisfaction with full council."

He said that his public dissent over the matter had "touched" a nerve. "This is a political world and it's not all sweetness and light."

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