Burnley Conservatives depose leader

The Conservative group on Burnley Borough Council is searching for a new leader after suspending the previous incumbent.

Thursday, 14th May 2020, 4:02 pm

Previous leader Coun. Andrew Newhouse, who represents Cliviger with Worsthorne ward, has been suspended following an investigation, with his position temporarily taken by Whitefield with Ightenhill ward’s Coun. Dale Ferrier.

It is not known at this stage what has prompted the move, although the Burnley Express there is a difference of opinion between certain members of the local Conservative group.

Members of the Burnley Conservative group are expected to meet soon to discuss the choice of a new leader.

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The Conservatives form part of the coalition of parties currently running Burnley Council.

However, the move drew angry criticism from the Labour leader on Burnley Council, Coun. Mark Townsend, who accused the Tories of being distracted at a time when they should be concentrating on protecting residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

Coun. Townsend said: "At a time when the council needs stability and certainty during a national health emergency it is beyond belief that a major part of the ruling coalition is distracted by political infighting.

"It’s been apparent that not all has been well within the local Tory Party for a few months now. Residents and businesses who are suffering need them to stop fighting like ferrets in a sack and sort it out quickly."

Labour leader Coun. Mark Townsend