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Shock at maverick's resignation

PUBLISHED: 07:15 28 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:27 03 March 2010

SHOCKWAVES are reverberating through council corridors following the dramatic resignation of outspoken councillor Mike Brundle.

The long-time maverick member of St Edmundsbury Borough Council walked out of the council chamber for the last time on Tuesday night after his nomination for mayor was rejected.

SHOCKWAVES are reverberating through council corridors following the dramatic resignation of outspoken councillor Mike Brundle.

The long-time maverick member of St Edmundsbury Borough Council walked out of the council chamber for the last time on Tuesday night after his nomination for mayor was rejected.

Yesterday, Mr Brundle said: "I feel a bit empty but I feel I have made the right decision. My position was untenable and I just hope what has happened to me never happens to anyone else.

"My family were supportive of my decision to quit – they have always given me great support and now I can devote more time to them."

Labour leader Ray Nowak, who proposed that Mr Brundle's nomination be rejected, said he had been an unsuitable mayoral candidate because of the controversy he had brought to the town.

Mr Brundle has hit the headlines for his outspoken views, his public rifts with daughter Georgina, and his decision to quit the Tory party and become an Independent Conservative councillor,

Mr Nowak explained: "My group had not supported the mayor elect and made that known in the hope that it would be reconsidered, but I was surprised by how much the reference back motion was supported.

"Now we look forward to a by-election in Westgate Ward."

Derek Redhead, Conservative leader of the council, said it was "very sad" but his nomination had to be rejected because it had been leaked.

"Mike Brundle has been a good councillor and to see him go in that way is very sad and it will be a loss to the borough. He made a few mistakes but don't we all."

Mr Brundle's name was put forward to full council by the mayoral selection committee but, for the first time ever, instead of the appointment merely being rubber-stamped, councillors voted to make them reconsider.

Mr Redhead, who voted in support of the matter being referred back to the committee, said they were left with no option after rumours of Mr Brundle's nomination had been leaked.

"The protocol has always been that the committee select the mayor and, until it is presented to full council, the name is contained.

"I'm appalled at the breech in protocol. Once you dispense with law and order you are on a slippery slope."

A councillor since 1988, former Conservative leader of the council Mr Brundle left the party to become an Independent Conservative last year.

The only other Independent Conservative on the council, Brian Lockwood, said: "It's disgraceful. Mike has been the victim of dirty tricks and I feel sorry for him.

"He was promised that he would get people's backing but was let down. He would have made a good mayor."

The mayoral selection committee are set to meet again on March 8 to look at chosing a new candidate.

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