Labour's group leader John Kent cancels talks with top Tory councillor

Labour's group leader John Kent cancels talks with top Tory councillor

John Kent - Thurrock's Labour group leader

Rob Gledhill - acting leader of Thurrock Tories

First published in News
Last updated
Thurrock Gazette: Matt Abbott Exclusive by , Chief Reporter

A MEETING scheduled for this afternoon between Labour council group leader John Kent and senior Tory Rob Gledhill has been cancelled, the Gazette can exclusively reveal.

Mr Kent, the leader of Thurrock’s Labour group, and Mr Gledhill, the acting-leader of the borough’s Conservative group, were due to have talks today at council HQ.

It comes after the Gazette exclusively revealed this week how Labour and the Conservatives were going to get together and discuss how best to move forward following last week’s Ukip surge in the local elections.

Our exclusive told how an insider revealed to the Gazette how the talks would look at the prospect of a “grand coalition” between the two old enemies.

The senior council source said: “I’d lay my money on a grand coalition between Labour and the Conservatives. Talks have already taken place and more are planned.”

But following our revelations, today's planned meeting between Labour and the Conservatives top councillors has been cancelled.

Mr Kent, who has dismissed the prospect of any coalition, told the Gazette today: “I had a meeting organised with Rob Gledhill today, but it has been cancelled following the Thurrock Gazette's front page story this week.”

Mr Kent did not elaborate on why he took this decision following our exclusive.

Mr Gledhill, who the Gazette can reveal was not involved in any conversations prior to or since the election, said: “John Kent invited me to today's meeting. There were no details on what was to be discussed.

“This meeting was then cancelled on Thursday afternoon, again without details.”

He added that as far as he was concerned no discussion of forming a coalition had taken place nor had any discussions been had over any civic or decision making roles by anyone in the Conservatives.

One voter commented to the Gazette: "This looks to me like Labour has got cold feet.

"So what next? Something has to be sorted out within the council.

"Surely Labour, or the Tories, won't look to do anything with Ukip? So will Labour then try to get the two independents onboard? 

"If not then how are any decisions going to materialise in future if the Tories don't back Labour and vice versa? It would be good for us voters to be told. Sooner rather than later.”

The make-up of the council: Labour 23, Conservatives 18, Ukip 6, independents 2.

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Comments (8)

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2:05pm Fri 30 May 14

woodsider says...

Given we are told by tories that UKIP councillors voted with Labour and against the tories on sharing the CEO with Barking & Dagenham council; whats the issue? Seems UKIP can connect with Labour. If its a sensible propostion that independent or UKIP councillors feel able to support, Labour can get it voted through. If not, then the motion probably shouldnt be passed. From a citizens perspectiive, assuming all councillors are working solely for the benefit of the borough, is a hung council so bad? Seems like this is what the voters wanted. Its not like the national government.
Given we are told by tories that UKIP councillors voted with Labour and against the tories on sharing the CEO with Barking & Dagenham council; whats the issue? Seems UKIP can connect with Labour. If its a sensible propostion that independent or UKIP councillors feel able to support, Labour can get it voted through. If not, then the motion probably shouldnt be passed. From a citizens perspectiive, assuming all councillors are working solely for the benefit of the borough, is a hung council so bad? Seems like this is what the voters wanted. Its not like the national government. woodsider
  • Score: 6

2:19pm Fri 30 May 14

poortaxpayer says...

woodsider wrote:
Given we are told by tories that UKIP councillors voted with Labour and against the tories on sharing the CEO with Barking & Dagenham council; whats the issue? Seems UKIP can connect with Labour. If its a sensible propostion that independent or UKIP councillors feel able to support, Labour can get it voted through. If not, then the motion probably shouldnt be passed. From a citizens perspectiive, assuming all councillors are working solely for the benefit of the borough, is a hung council so bad? Seems like this is what the voters wanted. Its not like the national government.
How can we believe anything that either Conservative or Labour politicians are saying about this? They would swear black was white if it meant some extra expenses and political power. And where has Jackie Doyle-Price gone? She was so vocal during the recent elections sticking in her oar where it was not wanted and giving her opinion whether we liked t or not and now she is completely silent! Has UKIP got her tongue?
[quote][p][bold]woodsider[/bold] wrote: Given we are told by tories that UKIP councillors voted with Labour and against the tories on sharing the CEO with Barking & Dagenham council; whats the issue? Seems UKIP can connect with Labour. If its a sensible propostion that independent or UKIP councillors feel able to support, Labour can get it voted through. If not, then the motion probably shouldnt be passed. From a citizens perspectiive, assuming all councillors are working solely for the benefit of the borough, is a hung council so bad? Seems like this is what the voters wanted. Its not like the national government.[/p][/quote]How can we believe anything that either Conservative or Labour politicians are saying about this? They would swear black was white if it meant some extra expenses and political power. And where has Jackie Doyle-Price gone? She was so vocal during the recent elections sticking in her oar where it was not wanted and giving her opinion whether we liked t or not and now she is completely silent! Has UKIP got her tongue? poortaxpayer
  • Score: 14

7:38pm Fri 30 May 14

poortaxpayer says...

Please ponder why Councillor John Kent would do a deal with the Devil and sell his Granny to remain Leader of Thurrock Council.

Councillor John Kent gets £28,704.97 for being Leader of the Council, £8,201.42 for being a Councillor and £9,602.08 for being a Cabinet Member. He gets £46,500 plus expenses.

If he loses control of Thurrock Council and gets kicked off the Cabinet he gets a mere £8,201.42.
Please ponder why Councillor John Kent would do a deal with the Devil and sell his Granny to remain Leader of Thurrock Council. Councillor John Kent gets £28,704.97 for being Leader of the Council, £8,201.42 for being a Councillor and £9,602.08 for being a Cabinet Member. He gets £46,500 plus expenses. If he loses control of Thurrock Council and gets kicked off the Cabinet he gets a mere £8,201.42. poortaxpayer
  • Score: 12

7:40pm Fri 30 May 14

poortaxpayer says...

Councillor Kent has 38,000 reasons to cling to power.
Councillor Kent has 38,000 reasons to cling to power. poortaxpayer
  • Score: 12

7:53am Sat 31 May 14

ebagumtrebor says...

Here is a man that has spent 3 years demonising the Tories and telling people how the Tory government are destroying the council with their cuts. At the first sign that he may lose his allowances, he's on the phone trying to do a deal with the people he has slagged down. He wanted a nice secret little deal to ensure he stayed where he was.

How do Labour supporters trust him now. He's just another greasy politician out for himself.
Here is a man that has spent 3 years demonising the Tories and telling people how the Tory government are destroying the council with their cuts. At the first sign that he may lose his allowances, he's on the phone trying to do a deal with the people he has slagged down. He wanted a nice secret little deal to ensure he stayed where he was. How do Labour supporters trust him now. He's just another greasy politician out for himself. ebagumtrebor
  • Score: 8

6:30pm Sun 1 Jun 14

Dave_ says...

In many ways I think we are in an era when people need to think before they vote. I have seen a number of interviews where people have said, I’ve voted Labour/Conservative/
Liberal all my life but this time I voted UKIP. This is all well and good IF the people you vote for actually get in, but if they don’t then be prepared for what you get. Are these ½ dozen councillors going to be able to achieve their party’s stated aims in those wards or across the Borough? If they did what next?
We’ve now gone into NOC and in order to get things through Labour will have to horse-trade with others more than previously and Lord knows what sort of mess that will leave us in. They may only need 2 to vote with them in a full vote, but where those 2 come from in critical. It would need a sea change for Labour, who effectively encourage migration, to side with UKIP.

For me protest/strategic voting is a dangerous game and ultimately no good will or can come of it.
In Brentwood according to the BBC all the other parties have formed a coalition with a majorty of one over the Conservatives, just to ensure that the Conservatives don’t get their way. I just hope no bright sparks in Thurrock get a similar idea. It only takes one or two to get brassed off and the House of Cards will come tumbling down.
In many ways I think we are in an era when people need to think before they vote. I have seen a number of interviews where people have said, I’ve voted Labour/Conservative/ Liberal all my life but this time I voted UKIP. This is all well and good IF the people you vote for actually get in, but if they don’t then be prepared for what you get. Are these ½ dozen councillors going to be able to achieve their party’s stated aims in those wards or across the Borough? If they did what next? We’ve now gone into NOC and in order to get things through Labour will have to horse-trade with others more than previously and Lord knows what sort of mess that will leave us in. They may only need 2 to vote with them in a full vote, but where those 2 come from in critical. It would need a sea change for Labour, who effectively encourage migration, to side with UKIP. For me protest/strategic voting is a dangerous game and ultimately no good will or can come of it. In Brentwood according to the BBC all the other parties have formed a coalition with a majorty of one over the Conservatives, just to ensure that the Conservatives don’t get their way. I just hope no bright sparks in Thurrock get a similar idea. It only takes one or two to get brassed off and the House of Cards will come tumbling down. Dave_
  • Score: -1

8:29am Mon 2 Jun 14

ebagumtrebor says...

Kent hasn't made the cuts he was on about yet after the last budget round. He wouldn't say what was going to be cut until after the election. He obviously knew the chances were he would not have a majority. He also probably knows that he's put off last year what he now has to carry out this year. It's probably going to be very unpopular. If the Tories go anywhere near him, they should have their heads tested. The same goes for UKIP.

I think Kent has assumed Labour would be more popular than they currently are. I'll put money on the reserves being used up this year. There'll be a crap deal done with the private company set up to deliver new housing Labour have promised. That's why Val is off. Whoever is in charge next year better be ready for a council in far worse order than it currently is.
Kent hasn't made the cuts he was on about yet after the last budget round. He wouldn't say what was going to be cut until after the election. He obviously knew the chances were he would not have a majority. He also probably knows that he's put off last year what he now has to carry out this year. It's probably going to be very unpopular. If the Tories go anywhere near him, they should have their heads tested. The same goes for UKIP. I think Kent has assumed Labour would be more popular than they currently are. I'll put money on the reserves being used up this year. There'll be a crap deal done with the private company set up to deliver new housing Labour have promised. That's why Val is off. Whoever is in charge next year better be ready for a council in far worse order than it currently is. ebagumtrebor
  • Score: -2

5:46pm Mon 2 Jun 14

Freddy K says...

Hmmm so the plot thickens on this story, whats the betting that meetings are going on "behind closed doors" if the two parties do form a merged coalition then this seriously begs the question from the local people of why the hell they voted for Conservative or Labour, this makes a complete mockery of the local elections and everything that both Lab and Con have stood for in the past.
Hmmm so the plot thickens on this story, whats the betting that meetings are going on "behind closed doors" if the two parties do form a merged coalition then this seriously begs the question from the local people of why the hell they voted for Conservative or Labour, this makes a complete mockery of the local elections and everything that both Lab and Con have stood for in the past. Freddy K
  • Score: 4

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