Spelthorne Borough Council outgoing leader claims Conservative Party group ‘is in disarray’ after quitting
08:00, 28 Jan 2016 UPDATED 09:22 28 Jan 2016 BY MATT STRUDWICK
Spelthorne Conservative Association said it was not interested in what it called Cllr Quentin Edgington’s “silly games”
Spelthorne Borough Council’s outgoing leader has quit the Conservative Party – and claimed the group is in “complete disarray”. The Spelthorne Conservative Association Group confirmed on Monday (January 25) that Cllr Quentin Edgington had resigned from the party after fellow Tories voted to oust him as its leader.
Last week it was announced Cllr Ian Harvey had replaced the Riverside and Laleham ward councillor as leader of the Conservative group, just three months after he took over from the late Robert Watts who died in a house fire in October 2015.
Speaking to Get Surrey, Cllr Edgington said: “Certainly the Conservative group in Spelthorne seems to be in complete disarray. “I intend to remain as councillor. Being a member of the Conservative Party for many years and previous Kingston councillor for eight years, it is regrettable I felt at this time to resign from the Conservative Party.”
A spokesman for the Spelthorne Conservative Association said it was not interested in Cllr Edgington’s “silly games”. “All the ruling Conservative councillors are interested in is running Spelthorne borough for the benefit of all residents,” he said. Cllr Edgington has since been listed as an independent on the borough council’s website and his profile page on the Spelthorne Conservative Association’s site has been removed.
His fiancée and Staines South ward borough councillor, Penny Forbes-Forsyth, was suspended from the party on the same day due to her conduct being “found to be inconsistent with the objects of the Spelthorne Conservative Association”. She said: “I await to hear what the allegation or behaviour is.” A meeting of the Spelthorne Conservative Divisional Executive will be held on February 12 to rule on whether to rescind or uphold her suspension. The former cabinet member stood down as deputy leader in August 2015 after two years in the role.
“It is with regret that I have accepted the resignation of Cllr Quentin Edgington from the Conservative Group on Spelthorne Borough Council,” said Cllr Harvey. “I am unsure about Cllr Edgington’s intentions and whether he intends to remain as a councillor for Riverside and Laleham ward in an independent capacity.”
Get Surrey understands Surrey Police was contacted over a dispute between Spelthorne Conservative councillors, but no criminal offences are being investigated. “Surrey Police is aware of an internal disagreement between some of the Conservative members of Spelthorne Borough Council,” a spokesman for the force said. “This is a matter for the council and Surrey Police is not carrying out any criminal investigation in relation to this issue.”
A motion to remove Cllr Edgington as leader of Spelthorne Borough Council will be heard at an Extraordinary Council meeting at council offices in Knowle Green on Tuesday February 2.