A vote for a new leader of Thanet council – and possibly a new political administration as a result – will take place next Thursday, June 3.
Council and Labour Party leader Rick Everitt resigned from the role on May 13 to thwart a Tory bid to use a vote of no confidence to retake control of the council prior to the local elections on May 6.
Parties on the council are invited to make nominations for leader which will be voted on. This could mean yet another change of administration if a Labour Party member is not appointed as leader.
Since 2018 the council has been led by UKIP, Conservative and Labour. UKIP’s control came to an end in February 2018 when party leader Chris Wells resigned due to a rebellion in his party over the Manston airport site.
Conservative Bob Bayford then took up the role. But a motion to remove him as council leader was last put forward in October 2019 with a vote of no confidence being passed. The motion was put by Thanet Independent Group leader Stuart Piper and resulted in councillors voting Labour’s Rick Everitt in as the new leader, meaning the end of the Conservative-led administration.
The attempt to oust the Labour Party from administration then came but Cllr Everitt’s resignation from the role meant a takeover was not possible.
Thanet has 56 councillors in total. The political composition is: 26 Conservative; 17 Labour; 6 Thanet Independents; 4 Green and 3 Independents. The political numbers mean which ever party takes control will still need to rely on support from others, such as Thanet Independents group, Thanet Greens or independent councillors, to gain a majority vote in decision making.
The leader nominations and vote will take place during the meeting which is being held at Ramsgate Leisure Centre from 7pm on June 3.