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Council Tory leader quits role

Staffordshire | News | Published:

The leader of the Conservative group on Cannock Chase Council has quit following a series of defections to the Liberal Democrats.

The leader of the Conservative group on Cannock Chase Council has quit following a series of defections to the Liberal Democrats.

Councillor Phil Freeman, who is standing down with immediate effect, remains in post as deputy leader of the council.

He said today he had "had enough" of the in-fighting within his group.

The political spectrum of Cannock Chase Council has been thrown into further chaos with a third Conservative councillor defecting to the Liberal Democrats and another heading in the opposite direction.

The council is controlled by a coalition of Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors.

Councillor Mark Green, who represents Cannock South ward, has now moved across to the Liberal Democrats. Councillor Lisa Pearce, a councillor representing Hednesford Green Heath, has moved in the opposite direction to the Conservatives.

It followed last week's announcement that Councillors Keith and Diane Bennett had moved from the Conservatives to the Liberal Democrats.

Cannock Chase Conservative Association chairman Pat Corfield announced that Councillor Freeman had stood down."Within the next few months elections will be fought that will have a significant impact on our district and our country, and I understand why Phil feels that now is the appropriate time to hand over the reins so that the group can face that future with a new leader," she said.

Councillor Freeman said: "My heart and soul is in Cannock Chase district and I want to see through the hard work that we are doing.

"It was not worth the aggravation of carrying on as group leader. There are only 10 now in the group and I am 70 in July and don't want more nit picking."

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