Shropshire Star

Councillor resigns from Conservative group

A borough councillor has resigned from the Conservative group but says the decision wasn't based on the national or local political landscape.

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Priorslee councillor Paul Thomas says he will continue to serve residents to the best of his ability as an Independent and from that perspective nothing has changed.

Councillor Thomas said: "It is correct that I have left the Conservative Party to serve as an Independent Councillor representing the Priorslee Ward and as Parish Councillor on St Georges and Priorslee Parish Council.

"I didn’t take the decision based on the national or local political landscape."

Councillor Paul Thomas. Picture: Telford & Wrekin Council

But the councillor who was elected with more than 1,000 votes and topped the poll in Priorslee at the all-out council election last May says he will be representing residents as an independent from now on.

He said: "I was elected to serve those residents who elected me and I will continue to represent them to the best of my ability, albeit as an independent councillor.

"Nothing else will change. I am the same person, irrespective of political allegiance, dedicated to represent those that elected me to the best of my ability."

Nigel Dugmore, a senior Conservative councillor in Telford & Wrekin, said he heard about the decision a few days ago.

"It came out of the blue," he said. "I understand it was a personal thing for Paul. He is heavily involved in the community and has a number of personal commitments."

Councillor Dugmore added that he did not think the change would affect the Conservative group's ability to hold the council's Labour leadership to account.

The Conservatives will officially have seven members compared to Labour's 38 and the six Liberal Democrats.

Councillor Dugmore added that he is "focussing on the General Election campaign".

"I believe it will be not as bad as some are predicting, remember when John Major surprised everyone when he won in 1992."

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