Conservatives depose Pate and elect new leader for Shropshire Council

Just a week ago, Malcolm Pate, the leader of Shropshire Council until the 4 May elections, was confident of being re-elected as leader of the Conservative group on Shropshire Council. The Conservative leader is always voted in as leader of the council. Now, the Conservative group have ousted Pate and replaced him by Shrewsbury councillor, Peter Nutting.

Only a week ago, Malcolm Pate used an interview on BBC Radio Shropshire to boast of his confidence in seeing off any “superegos” that might challenge him. His task, he told the interviewers, was to get “the council out of the mire it was in when I took over 15 months ago.”  His belief that he had the backing of his Tory colleagues has proved to be wrong.

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Shropshire Council Elections 2017: We could have gained more progressive seats

The unitary elections were not a disaster for any political party other than UKIP. The Liberal Democrats lost one seat to the Conservatives as did Labour and an independent. The Greens lost one seat but gained another.

Although the Conservatives gained 7% more votes and one more seat over 2013, the opposition was far from decimated. Could more seats have been won if the opposition parties had cooperated? I think so. And if we had have done so, we might have created a very different, progressive future for our county.

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May’s rush to polls shows she cares more about confrontation than consensus over Brexit

You could have knocked me over with a feather. When a resident in Fishmore strolled down his drive this morning to say that Theresa May had called a general election, I couldn’t take it in. After all, she had only recently said there would be no elections until 2020.

I guess she had a bad Easter. I distrust her motives. She wants to crush the opposition and thereby crush democratic debate.

Whatever the reasons for Theresa May’s volte-face, we are facing a general election on 8 June.

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Shropshire Tories scrap election leaflet and apologise to Oz mental health charity

With less than a month to go to the local elections, Shropshire Conservatives have withdrawn the printed edition of their election manifesto (it’s still here online). This follows my discovery that an image that purported to be of Conservative supporters was lifted without permission from an Australian charity website. The image shows the staff of a mental health charity from Tasmania and Queensland. It is a typical workplace photograph and was taken on 28 June 2013.

The BBC is reporting that the Conservatives have now formally apologised to the charity and have promised to no longer distribute the leaflet.

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Shropshire Tory manifesto cheats with photo of mental health workers from Oz

You couldn’t make this story up. If it hasn’t already arrived, you might soon be getting a copy of the Shropshire Conservative manifesto through your letterbox. Most of us would think that the banner photograph on the front page of the manifesto is of thirteen Tory activists or supporters. But look carefully. It took me a while to spot what is wrong with the photograph. Then it clicked.

After that light bulb moment, it took me just minutes to discover that the image is not of Shropshire supporters at all. Not even of Tory supporters. The photograph has been lifted from an Australian mental health charity website.

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