Monday, 23 July 2012

Conservatives Expel Watford Councillor

Cllr Malcolm Meerabux (Park), half of the remaining Conservative group of two in Watford after the 2012 elections, has had his party membership revoked by his local association.  He is now sitting as an independent member leaving Tory 'group leader' Cllr Steve Johnson (Leggatts) as the sole Conservative member of the council.

According to the Watford Observer, Meerabux had been previously excluded from the party because of a 'row' over letters written to the paper, but had been allowed to re-join.  The reason for his re-exclusion by the party has not yet been made apparent, apart from that it was a decision made by a vote at a meeting of the local Conservative association.

Watford is one of the few remaining real strongholds for the Liberal Democrats, with a directly elected Liberal Democrat mayor, and with Labour making limited progress in the 2012 elections with just one gain from each of the Conservatives and the Lib Dems.  The Conservative group fell into fourth largest position after those elections, after the Labour gain left them with just two councillors to the Greens' three.  Now after expelling Meerabux, they are left with just a single councillor, whose term is up in the next elections in 2014.

The council is led by a directly elected Lib Dem mayor, Dorothy Thornhill, who was elected in 2002 and then re-elected in 2006 and 2010.  At her most recent re-election, held under the supplementary vote system, she won just under half of the first preferences cast and easily defeated her Conservative opponent in the second round.  After Meerabux's expulsion, the council's composition stands at:

Watford Borough Council
Lib Dems24-

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