CALLS have been made for Garry Hague to resign as leader of Thurrock Council after he lost a vote of no confidence.
The motion was brought by former council leader Anne Cheale, who was kicked out of the Tory group on Monday, and supported by all 23 Labour councillors and BNP councillor Emma Colgate.
Cllr Hague doesn’t have to resign because there is nothing in the council’s constitution which says he must.
He said he refused to give the motion any “credence” and said of his position: “I believe I have lead this council with professionalism, integrity, and vigour.”
Cllr Cheale revealed that she had tabled the motion because she felt Garry Hague was letting officers run the show at the authority, and he should have stepped in when planning officers called in a barrister over two “unlawful” decisions made by councillors on the planning committee in January.
She was backed up by the BNP’s Emma Colgate who said that Garry hague did not stick up for councillors in meetings where they felt “attacked” by officers.
She said: “It feels like he is almost scared to question officers and executives for fear of them saying something he doesn’t like.”
Cllr Hague said cllr Cheale’s claims that he had brought the council into disrepute were “ill conceived, unsubstantiated, unjustified, and without foundation.”
He added: “It does no good for members or this council.”
Councillor Cheale summed up her motion by insinuating that Garry Hague was just all talk.
She said: “A man of just words and no deeds is like a garden full of weeds.”
The Tory leader was supported by all of his group, except Anne Cheale’s Corringham and Fobbing colleague Ian Harrison, who left the chamber for the vote of no confidence.
Former Conservative mayor John Everett poured scorn on Anne Cheale, calling her time as leader of the council “unpleasant” adding: “It was like a dictatorship”.
Cllr Hague was also backed up by the two Independent councillors, John Purkiss and Barry Palmer, bringing the vote to 23 against 25.
Independent leader cllr Palmer said the motion made him “feel sick” and was the actions of a “woman scorned”.
He also sits on the planning committee and said the committee had been told it was wrong and “some members just can’t take it”.
He said he was ashamed of the chamber and added: “All this is just political point scoring from one to the other, we are all in the mire together here.”
Leader of the Labour group John Kent , who now has 23 councillors to the Conservatives’ 22, said that he couldn't believe Cllr Hague had "lost a vote of no confidence and survived it at the same time".