10:23AM, Monday 12 June 2017
A Royal Borough councillor has resigned from the Conservative Party due to issues with its local leadership.
Cllr Charles Hollingsworth, a ward councillor for Pinkneys Green, confirmed in an email to the Advertiser over the weekend that he has resigned from the party and as a Conservative Group member on the council.
Cllr Hollingsworth said he will remain on the council as an independent.
In the email, he said: “My reasons are quite simple really. Ever since the putsch, I have not only watched with growing horror the actions and pronouncements from our local leadership, but I have become increasingly embarrassed to be associated with the cabal, though I am but a humble backbencher.”
He said he decided to resign after the election to make sure he did not affect Theresa May’s campaign to become Prime Minister.
He said: “I have stood as a candidate five times to represent the Ward of Pinkneys Green where I have lived since the last century, the first three unsuccessfully, so feel that I can continue to do so as an Independent.”
When the Advertiser contacted council leader Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside) for comment, he said: "Charles is a very affable character, I wish him all the best as an independent."
When asked what he thought of the email, he said: “I didn’t understand the email.”
Cllr Dudley has claimed our article is 'factually incorrect' in citing local leadership as a reason for the resignation and has forwarded a follow-up email from Cllr Hollingsworth making an accusation of bullying against 'an association officer'. We believe the email we have received from Cllr Hollingsworth makes his reasons for resigning clear, and have published it in full in the interest of transparency.
The email to the Advertiser:
You will probably be receiving a press release from RBWM in the morning announcing that I have resigned from the Conservative Party and therefore as a member of the Conservative Group on the Council; both true!
My reasons are quite simple really. Ever since the putsch, I have not only watched with growing horror the actions and pronouncements from our local leadership, but I have become increasingly embarrassed to be associated with the cabal, though I am but a humble backbencher. I was reminded of Martin Niemoller’s poem, “First they came for the Socialists and I did nothing,………………..and then thy came for me” and having the constraints removed after the General Election felt emboldened to distance myself. Why have I taken so long? Well I was Theresa’s campaign manager for two General Elections and like her very much, and wanted to do nothing that might have a detrimental effect on her as PM. I fought hard in my Ward, and our loyal volunteers manned both polling stations from 7.00 am through to 9.00 pm, and thence input all of the data to our central database, so I was loyal right up until the end.
I have stood as a candidate five times to represent the Ward of Pinkneys Green where I have lived since the last century, the first three unsuccessfully, so feel that I can continue to do so as an Independent.
As Marcellus said to Horatio in Hamlet, “There is something rotten in the State of Denmark.”
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