Burnley Council 'plunged into crisis' after councillors unable to decide on leader

Coun. Mark Townsend
Coun. Mark Townsend
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An emergency meeting has been scheduled after Burnley Council was left with no leader following a vote last night.

Labour lost five seats in the borough elections to lose its town hall majority and at last night's Full Council meeting, all opposition councillors voted against re-appointing Labour leader Coun. Mark Townsend.

"Basically, the 23 opposition councillors voted down my leadership nomination without having an alternative candidate to put forward," he said. "This has plunged the council into crisis with no leadership or executive and we now need to try and find a sensible way out."

Councillors will meet again on Tuesday, May 28th, with the hope of finding a solution.

"The writing's been on the wall for the last couple of weeks with none of the opposition parties wanting to speak to Labour," said Coun. Townsend.

"There are a lot of factions within the council at the minute and a lot of parties don't agree with each other. But they have come to the consensus they do not want a Labour leader and have decided to crash the council.

"We still hold 22 seats on the council. The next highest party has eight so we still believe we are the only sustainable way forward. But if the other parties do not want to speak to us at this moment in time then it's difficult.

"What I am worried about is the reputational damage this could do moving forward. We have an excellent reputation with strategic partners and potential investors and that is in danger of being ruined if this does not get sorted quickly."