North Herts councillor ‘angry and confused’ over deselection

Tom Brindley

Tom Brindley - Credit: Archant

A prominent councillor who has been deselected by his political party has said he feels “angry, disappointed and confused”.

Conservative councillor Tom Brindley, who is portfolio holder for planning, transport and enterprise for North Herts District Council (NHDC) and represents the Codicote ward, was deselected in August last year.

Despite a number of meetings and an appeal process, it has now been confirmed that Cllr Brindley has not been selected by his party to stand in next month’s local government elections.

Deselection means The Conservative Party has withdrawn its support of Cllr Brindley – who has been a party member for the past 37 years – to stand in the elections.

Cllr Brindley said: “I will not be standing in the next election because I was not selected. I feel angry, disappointed, frustrated and confused because I have not been given a reason as to why I was deselected.”

Asked why he thinks he has been deselected, he said: “I questioned something in a leaflet that was being delivered to residents.

“One of the leaflet droppers had asked me why there was nothing about the villages in the leaflet. I raised that with Stephen McPartland (MP for Stevenage) and I suspect raising this was one of the reasons but I don’t know.”

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Standing in Cllr Brindley’s seat will be district council chairman and Knebworth ward councillor, Cllr Jane Gray.

Asked if he would stand as an independent candidate, he added: “No, as I don’t think this would be good for Codicote or the party.

“I do think the selection process is flawed and I do feel upset because I have not done anything wrong or not been accused of anything. But I will continue supporting the MP and the party. I do not want to burn bridges.

“I support Jane Gray and think she is a superb councillor but she is a Knebworth councillor so why isn’t she standing in Knebworth?

“The whole process has been dealt with by the Stevenage Conservative Association when it should have been dealt with by the Knebworth and Codicote branch.”

Lynda Needham, leader of the Conservative-led NHDC and the North Hertfordshire Conservative party group, said: “Tom Brindley’s contribution has always been first class. Holding a position of responsibility he has always given generously of his time. His attendance at meetings has been excellent and he has supported the electorate of Codicote very well.”

Standing is Cllr Gray’s seat for the elections on May 22 will be Steve Hemingway.