With a heavy heart, I confirm my resignation from the Conservative Party on 17th April 2019.
My decision was in no way related to the excellent case being presented by East Devon District Council Conservatives in the pre-election period. Theirs is an outstanding presentation based on the performance delivered by a capable and experienced Conservative led team.
It rather reflects deep disappointment in the performance of the Party elsewhere.
I have resigned the leadership of the East Devon District Council Conservative Group but, remain Leader of the Council until the Annual Meeting on 22nd May, if re-elected; otherwise I will step down on 3rd May.
I am arranging that all 2,192 electors in my home Trinity Ward receive a personal letter, hand delivered by my team and me. This explains that should I be honoured by re-election, I will sit as an Independent Councillor not aligned to any political party or group.
To ensure that East Devon District Council delivers the services Axmouth, Combpyne-Rousdon and Uplyme residents want and value, in a caring, open and transparent environment.
Please note; as my resignation dates from after the closure of nominations, your ballot paper on May 2nd will still identify me as representing the Conservative Party. It is not possible to change how this is displayed, however I confirm that, should I be re-elected to serve Trinity I will immediately do so as an Independent Councillor, not aligned to any political party or group.