Nottingham

Nottinghamshire County Council Labour party councillor quits

John Wilmott
Image caption John Wilmott has left Labour to form the Hucknall First Community Forum

A second councillor has quit the Labour party in charge of Nottinghamshire County Council in under a year.

Councillor John Wilmot has resigned to become an independent councillor for the Hucknall First Community Forum, which he has formed.

It follows the resignation of Ian Campbell, who left the party without a majority in August.

The Conservatives have called on Labour, which said it will continue to run the council, to form a coalition.

Mr Wilmott, who was deselected as a candidate for next month's district elections in Ashfield, blamed "in-fighting" within the party for his resignation.

"It's been a terrible time and it's really affected my health," he said.

Image copyright Nottinghamshire County Council
Image caption Labour is now two councillors short of a majority at Nottinghamshire County Council

Labour remains the largest group at the county council with 32 councillors but no political party has an overall majority.

There are 67 councillors in total, so any group requires 34 members to form a majority, with the Conservatives the closest with 21.

Coalition call

Conservative leader Kay Cutts said she wanted committees to better represent the new political make-up of the council.

"They should probably think of having a coalition of all parties so we can take this council forward for the next two years," she said.

Council leader Alan Rhodes said the party will continue to run the council.

"We live in a democracy - we won the county council in 2013," he said.

"We're developing our Labour program based on our values and what people told us to do. We will continue to do that as long as possible."

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