Mayor quits local party

A TOWN mayor who faced possible disciplinary action after standing against Conservative colleagues as an independent in a county council by-election has resigned from his local constituency association.

A TOWN mayor who faced possible disciplinary action after standing against Conservative colleagues as an independent in a county council by-election has resigned from his local constituency association.

Frank Whittle, who became Stowmarket mayor during May with the official backing of Conservative colleagues, faced sanctions including expulsion from the party.

But he has now resigned from the Bury Conservative Association - although he is still a member of the Tory party.

It comes after he failed to win the nomination for the June 21 by-election in the Stowmarket North and Stowupland division of Suffolk County Council and was nominated as an independent.


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In addition to being a town councillor Mr Whittle was also elected as the official Tory candidate in the Stowmarket North ward of Mid Suffolk District Council in the elections of May 3 and continues to serve in that capacity.

Mr Whittle, who had failed three times to get the Conservative nomination for Stowmarket for the county elections, was dismayed that the party selected a candidate from Needham Market who had not served on any council before.

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He felt Stowmarket people deserved better from the Tories and stood as an independent, before coming last with 132 votes.

Eric Flack, chairman of Bury St Edmunds Conservative Association, said: “Immediately after the election Frank Whittle resigned from our association and is no longer a member.

“It's closed as far as I am concerned, what happens elsewhere is not my concern.”

Mr Whittle, who lives in Thomas Arne Close, Stowmarket, said yesterday: “I have not stepped out of the Conservative Party, but I have left the Bury Constituency.

“They had not done anything or said anything to me, but I did send my card back and they have accepted it.

“This is best left alone, and I am still a Conservative and a member of the north Ipswich association.”

Tim Passmore, leader of the Tory controlled district council, was unavailable to comment on Mr Whittle's continued membership of the Conservative group with the authority.

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