Tories suspend Tendring council leader
THE leader of Tendring District Council has vowed to appeal against a decision to suspend him from the Conservative Party.Terry Allen is one of five politicians - including another two district councillors and the Mayor of Frinton - who were yesterday suspended by the Tories “pending consideration of expulsion”.
THE leader of Tendring District Council has vowed to appeal against a decision to suspend him from the Conservative Party.
Terry Allen is one of five politicians - including another two district councillors and the Mayor of Frinton - who were yesterday suspended by the Tories “pending consideration of expulsion”.
A shocked Mr Allen said he had no idea why he and the other four party members had been suspended.
He added that he had taken “professional advice” and would appeal.
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However, should the suspension continues beyond the end of March, neither he nor his two council colleagues will be able to stand as Conservatives in the forthcoming local elections.
The four others suspended from the party are Tendring District Council (TDC) members Peter De-Vaux Balbirnie and Bernard Leatherdale (both Little Clacton and Weeley), Frinton Mayor and town councillor Jack Robertson and former Harwich Conservative Association (HCA) chairman Denzel Watson.
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Yesterday Mr Allen, who before this latest action was president of HCA, said: “I will appeal against this suspension. I believe due process has not been followed.
“No-one from the regional party has interviewed me or even phoned me, and we are accused of breaking a rule that is so broad we don't even know what it relates to. That is all I can say.”
In a letter sent to members of the HCA and obtained by the EADT, Valerie Metcalfe, the chairman of the Essex Area Conservatives, announced the suspensions and that the HCA was to be placed into “supported status”.
She added she would be taking responsibility for membership and local campaigning.
A spokesman for Tendring District Council said that Mr Allen would continue in his role as executive leader unless an extraordinary council meeting decided otherwise or he resigned.
The suspension of the five men is the latest in a string of political shockwaves throughout the HCA.
Last week its chairman Paul Honeywood and vice-chairman Chris Griffiths resigned after Mr Allen presented a 60-strong petition against them.
Last year, high-profile councillor and cabinet member Pierre Oxley was deselected in a secret ballot along with Tory colleague Nick Turner.
Mr De-Vaux Balbirnie and Mr Robertson were not available for comment yesterday.
Mr Leatherdale declined to comment and Mr Watson could not be reached.
A spokesman for Conservative Central Office said: “Following concerns raised, the party board suspended five members of the Conservative Party pending a further investigation.
“The individuals concerned have been notified.”