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Deputy leader slams Romford Tory for turning up to full council two hours late

PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 March 2014

Cllr White makes his way to his seat.

Cllr White makes his way to his seat.

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Tensions ran high at the town hall as the deputy council leader hit out at the deputy chairman of the Romford Conservatives Association - who arrived more than two hours late to the meeting.

During the general debate section, Cllr Michael Armstrong (Conservative, Pettits), who has been deselected ahead of the May elections, took aim at Cllr Damian White (Conservative, Hylands) and the Tory association, as he turned his attention to becoming a voter.

He “guaranteed” the group would not be capable of producing a “calm and collected budget” if they were to dominate the next administration, due to the money they have “wasted” in their group.

He then blasted the then absent Cllr White.

He said: “It is very interesting that Damian has stood here and declared he is going to take over the authority and yet where is he? He can’t even turn up to our budget meeting. It’s a disgrace.”

Twenty-five minutes later, at about 9.45pm, Cllr White entered the meeting, which started at 7.30pm - in time to vote on the budget and special responsiblity allowance proposals.

Cllr Armstrong claimed it was “not a coincidence” that Cllr White turned up shortly after his speech, believing he had been watching on the webcast, and also accused him of “looking for an argument” afterwards.

“He came up and said something outside, but I am a grown man,” he said. “I just think he’s not interested in the council or the impact on residents.

“The electorate voted him in to service them and in my view he is not doing that.”

Speaking to the Recorder, Cllr White denied there was any argument and explained he had turned up late due to illness.

He said: “Unfortunately I had a chest infection, I have had pneumonia twice and I did not want to risk getting it for a third time.”

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