A second Conservative councillor has questioned an independent rival’s decision to join the Labour party.
Cllr Jeyan Anketell won his Stowe ward seat at Lichfield District Council in the local elections in May.
But in the wake of the General Election result, the former Lib Dem candidate has now decided to join the red ranks at the local authority.
His actions have been questioned by Cllr Wai-Lee Ho who said the move may have “betrayed” voters, while two other candidates who were beaten in the Stowe ward have called for a by-election.
Conservative colleague Cllr Richard Cox has now added to the calls for Cllr Anketell to put his switch to the voters. He said:
“For the electorate of the Stowe Ward, do they want a Labour party representative? If so would it be more sensible to ask them that question and have a by-election to allow them to make that choice?
“It is not for me to call upon Cllr Anketell to resign – he is absolutely within his right to align himself with which ever political party he wishes.
“But he must be very conscious he was elected as an independent and therefore question his own integrity and conscious accordingly as a decent and respectable person.”Cllr Richard Cox, Lichfield District Council
“I asked voters not to support more Conservative cuts”
Cllr Anketell told Lichfield Live his position on local issues had not changed, despite his decision to join Labour.
“I asked voters not to support more Conservative cuts and to give me their vote, while sharing remaining ones among progressive candidates in Labour, the Lib Dems and the Green Party.
“So Lichfield residents were fully informed in advance of my stand with regard to supporting Labour and the other progressive parties.
“I am seeking to join the Labour group on both the Lichfield city and district councils as I believe I can more effectively work for the betterment of Lichfeldians in this way.”Cllr Jeyan Anketell, Lichfield District Council
Labour group leader, Cllr Steve Norman, said Cllr Anketell’s decision would boost his party’s voice in Lichfield.
“Jeyan did stand as an independent in Stowe Ward and has given his reasons for joining Labour and I welcome his decision.Cllr Steve Norman, Lichfield District Council