Former town leader dumps party

FORMER Ipswich council leader Dale Jackson has left the Conservative group at Civic Centre after accusing his fellow councillors of failing to support him in his battles over the last year.

FORMER Ipswich council leader Dale Jackson has left the Conservative group at Civic Centre after accusing his fellow councillors of failing to support him in his battles over the last year.

He has told council officials he will now be sitting as a Conservative Independent on the borough council.

Mr Jackson has been a member of the party since he was a teenager, but has left the group on the council after a traumatic year.

He started 2005 as council leader, but had to resign after it emerged that he was going to be taken before an adjudication panel over “inappropriate” comments he wrote in a letter to the teenage daughter of a fellow councillor.

Six months after details of the allegations emerged, he appeared before the panel and was cleared on all counts - they felt he had been foolish but had not brought his position as a councillor into disrepute.

He tried to win back the leadership of his group, but his fellow councillors rejected his appeal and decided to stick with current leader Liz Harsant.

Most Read

Since then his attendance at council meetings has been sporadic, although his interventions have often been entertaining.

However this week the resentment he felt over his treatment by his colleagues, coupled with a belief that his party chose the wrong leader in David Cameron, resulted in his decision to resign from the council group.

In his letter to the council he indicated he intended to remain as councillor for the Castle Hill Ward until his seat next comes up for re-election in 2008.

He could not be contacted by the Evening Star today, but Mrs Harsant was very sorry and disappointed that he had taken this action.

She said: “Dale hasn't been voting with the group for some time so it won't make that much difference to us but it is very disappointing.”

His departure means that the ruling Conservative/Liberal Democrat administration now has 24 councillors with the opposition on 23 and Mr Jackson is sitting as an independent.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter