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Councillor quits in row over mayor

PUBLISHED: 13:06 27 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:26 03 March 2010

MAVERICK councillor Mike Brundle has resigned from local politics after his attempt to be selected as a town's mayor was rejected.

The former Conservative leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council had been put forward to be the next Mayor of St Edmundsbury by the its selection committee.

MAVERICK councillor Mike Brundle has resigned from local politics after his attempt to be selected as a town's mayor was rejected.

The former Conservative leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council had been put forward to be the next Mayor of St Edmundsbury by the its selection committee.

But at yesterday's meeting of the full council decided for the first time in its history not to confirm the committee's recommendation, instead rejecting its proposal and telling its members to rethink the nomination.

An enraged Mr Brundle promptly stood up in the council chamber and announced his permanent resignation from local politics, saying "it's time to go".

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Brundle said he was not prepared to be "the fall guy" and to put up with the humiliation of being the first mayoral candidate to be rejected.

"There has been a lot of ill-feeling since my name came forward and when you are facing that sort of lack of support, it's time to pack your bags and go. I am leaving local politics entirely," he added.

"I am not prepared to put up with the back-stabbing with has grown over the last few years – it has become a pit of snakes.

"I cannot carry on knowing myself and my family are not considered suitable for the mayoralty. It is a slur against me and my family and I feel I have done the honourable thing by resigning."

A borough councillor since 1988, the window blind company owner has been the subject of numerous headlines for his outspoken views, his public rifts with his daughter Georgina and his decision to quit the Conservative Party.

"My profile has counted against me. I'm a self-made man and that is frowned upon in this country," said Mr Brundle, who was an Independent Conservative councillor.

"I am devoted to my ward and I have given it my heart and soul over the last 14 years and sometimes it has taken priority over my life when it shouldn't have. Now I have a good business to run and I want to concentrate on that and my family."

The former RAF officer, who lives in Vinery Road in Bury St Edmunds, was first elected in a by-election to represent the Westgate ward. Now a by-election will have to be held to find his replacement.

"It is a very sad day. When I first became a councillor, people did it for the love of it, but while the majority of councillors are there for the good of everyone, there has been an erosion in public life," he said.

"I won't apologise for the way I have conducted myself – I have always been my own person – but I am a proud man who's been humiliated.

"There has been some great moments that I will take away with me, but what's the point of going on when most of the people are against you?"

But, magnanimous in defeat, Mr Brundle's final words as he left the council chamber were "I wish you all good luck".

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