Devon

Torbay mayor loses no confidence vote but vows to stay

Mayor
Image caption Gordon Oliver: "I'm gonna be here unless the prime minister or the government wants to remove me"

A mayor who lost a no confidence vote brought by his own party has vowed to stay on in the role.

Torbay councillors voted 19 to seven in favour of the vote of the no confidence motion against Conservative elected Mayor Gordon Oliver,

The motion, voted on amid concerns over a £5m deficit, gives Mr Oliver until 24 July to resign.

But Mr Oliver, who has been in post since 2011, said he would stay until 2019 when the office expires.

More on the no confidence vote and other news from Devon

If Mr Oliver does not resign on Monday, the council's chief executive can go to the Secretary of State to ask if his term of office can end early so that Torbay can return to the previous leader and cabinet system.

Image caption David Thomas said: "A lot of us felt we had to take action now"

Fellow Conservative David Thomas, who was behind the no confidence vote, said: "The issue at stake is Torbay Council's future and tonight we saw that overwhelming support to get it back on an even keel.

"It was always going to be a very difficult decision, but a lot of us felt we had to take action now."

Mr Oliver hit back, calling the debate "unnecessary".

"There has to be an understanding by all members of the council that we all stick together and I'm going to be here unless the prime minister or the government wants to remove me," he said.

He added the council should be "looking positively" at the "huge budget problems".

"I wanted to listen to others and learn," he said. "I hope something good will come out of this."

In a referendum in May last year Torbay voters chose to remove the post of mayor after May 2019 and return to having a leader and cabinet model of local government.

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