County council leader survives no confidence vote

Ben Bradley after surviving the no confidence vote
Ben Bradley will continue as council leader [BBC]

The leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, Ben Bradley, has survived a vote of no confidence.

The Independent Alliance opposition group, which tabled the motion, say Mr Bradley has been too focused on his failed attempt to be elected as East Midlands Mayor.

Mr Bradley, who is also the MP for Mansfield, lost to Labour's Claire Ward earlier this month.

He called the vote of no confidence "a waste of time".

Conservative councillors left the meeting
Conservative councillors walked out of the meeting [BBC]

Speaking to the BBC, he said it was "incredibly frustrating".

"We have a constitution here. The majority group decides who the leader is. We did that yesterday," he said.

"For the Independents, this is all about creating negative headlines. It's not what this chamber should be for."

An extraordinary meeting of the council was called to debate the motion on Thursday.

Analysis box
[BBC]
Analysis box
[BBC]

Analysis

By Hugh Casswell, Political Reporter

A political stunt or an expression of anger?

In reality, the vote was always likely to go this way.

The simple maths, and Conservative majority at County Hall, meant Ben Bradley was safe.

But to his opponents, his defeat in the mayoral election was as much a rejection of him as it was the Conservative Party.

He says they're just trying to kick him while he's down.

They say they want to kick him out.

Analysis box
[BBC]
Analysis box
[BBC]

Jason Zadrozny, who leads the Independent Alliance, says services have suffered as a result of Mr Bradley's mayoral bid, and he should now resign as council leader.

"Every single service has been put on hold while we've been dealing with this spectre of the mayoralty," he said.

"Leaving Mr Bradley in office for one day longer than necessary is a dereliction of our duty to residents who are really suffering."

Conservative councillors walked out of the meeting, saying they "refuse to play childish games."

They returned to vote against the motion, which was rejected by 34 to 13.

The Council's Labour group abstained in the vote, calling it "a PR stunt."

Labour group leader Kate Foale said: "Ben Bradley has taken his eye off the ball in pursuit of personal career ambitions and is failing to run the council properly, but will a different Conservative leader bring about the change Nottinghamshire needs? I certainly don’t think so."

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