Deputy Mayor John Lenton resigns after shock defeat

Deputy Mayor John Lenton resigns after shock defeat

Francis Batt

Deputy Mayor John Lenton resigns after shock defeat

Shocked Deputy Mayor Cllr John Lenton has resigned in protest after being defeated in his bid to become the borough's first citizen.

Cllr Lenton, 74, (Con, Horton and Wraysbury) is the first deputy mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead in five years not to be voted in as mayor at the end of his term.

Explaining his decision to resign as deputy mayor instead of carrying on in the position until May, Cllr Lenton said: "People have been asking me about becoming mayor. It would have been too humiliating to have to say at functions that I had been rejected."

He was defeated by 19 votes to 24 at a meeting of the Conservative group in Maidenhead Town Hall last night.

The next mayor will be Cllr Richard Kellaway (Con, Bisham and Cookham).

Asked why he thought the vote went against him Cllr Lenton (Con, Horton and Wraysbury) said: "I don't know. Presumably they preferred him.

"I'm not particularly pleased. It is rather a slap in the face."

Asked if he would stand again as a councillor at the next election he said: "I haven't really decided yet. This has been a bit of a shock."

Cllr Lenton has been a councillor for seven years. His wife Margaret Lenton is former headteacher of Slough Grammar School.

The couple were particularly high profile last week, working with other volunteers to help flood victims at the emergency centre in Wraysbury School, Welley Road, where they met Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday.

Cllr Kellaway, who beat Cllr Lenton in the vote, pointed out that Cookham had not had a councillor elected mayor in 10 years, whereas Horton and Wraysbury had had Cllr Colin Rayner as mayor only two years ago.

He said: "There is nothing unusual about any of this. There were four candidates for mayor in Jubilee year. We followed the rules, that's politics."

But Cllr Colin Rayner (Con, Horton and Wraysbury), said: "My prayers and thoughts are with John and Margaret. I'm really upset for him."

Current Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead Cllr Andrew Jenner (Con, Maidenhead Riverside) would not say how he voted in the mayoral vote but said: "John has done a wonderful job as deputy mayor. I'm disappointed for him. But it was a group decision made democratically."

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