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Conservative councillors at Babergh District Council boycott meeting

All members of the Conservative group of councillors at Babergh District Council were absent at yesterday evening’s full council meeting.

This comes after a motion to oust vice chairman Cllr Derek Davis from his position earlier this month was lost by 16 votes to seven.

Cllr Simon Barrett, a member of the Conservative group, put forward the motion on the basis of a Facebook post shared by Cllr Davis that referred to Conservatives as “b*stards”.

Speaking as leader of the Conservative group, Cllr Simon Barrett said: “We are probably not going to turn up to a meeting until Derek Davis resigns.

“He called us ‘Tory b*stards’ so we’re going to be looking for our fathers.

“In the meantime, we’re doing all our ward work and looking after our electorate.”

Vice chairman Derek Davis. Picture: Babergh District Council
Vice chairman Derek Davis. Picture: Babergh District Council

Cllr John Ward, leader of the council and part of the separate group of Independent Conservatives, said: “It is incredibly disappointing that the group has decided to boycott the meeting.

“To use a phrase that Simon Barrett uses very often, it is not a good look.”

Liberal Democrat councillor Bryn Hurren said the move by the Conservative group represented “shame on our democracy”.

The Independent Conservatives separated from the Conservative group in April.

This was due to Cllr Davis’ removal from the cabinet, which he said was a result of pressure put on Cllr Ward to do so from Cllrs Simon Barrett and Sian Dawson, who were unhappy with his role as journalist.

The Conservative group includes Cllrs Susan Maria Ayres, Melanie Barrett, Simon Barrett, Peter Beer, Siân Dawson, Mick Fraser, Michael Holt, Margaret Maybury, Mark Newman, Zachary Norman.

The group of Independent Conservatives consists of Cllrs Mary McLaren, Adrian Osborne, Jan Osborne and John Ward.