Babergh prepares to elect new leader while Tories prepare to split

Babergh and Mid Suffolk Election count at Trinity Park.
John Ward,Elected Conservative , Lower Bre

Babergh and Mid Suffolk Election count at Trinity Park. John Ward,Elected Conservative , Lower Brett. - Credit: Archant

Babergh council is tonight due to select a new leader – but there is no indication that the bitterness of the last few weeks will end.

Current cabinet member John Ward has been elected leader of the Conservative group at the council – and will be the party’s nominee for council leader at the meeting.

The Tories hold 27 of the 43 seats on the authority but group leaders expect another member of the party to stand for the leadership and attract votes of opposition councillors and some Conservative rebels.

If Mr Ward loses the vote the Conservatives could split with those loyal to the existing leadership being in a position to expel the rebels from their group.

A new leader would be unlikely to continue with the current consultation process into a possible merger with Mid Suffolk Council – which could make the chances of that happening by the next elections in May 2019 seem more remote.

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