March 10 2014 Latest news:
by Amanda Nunn
Friday, January 31, 2014
One of Havering’s most popular Conservative councillors has seen his application against deselection rejected as the bitter internal struggle ripping the ruling group apart continues in the run-up to the May elections.
Cllr Andrew Curtin (Romford Town) was deselected in June in a wholesale shake-up of councillors by the Romford wing of the party.
This week the Recorder has seen the charge-sheet, signed off by a panel of Romford Conservatives.
- Not attending events regularly for the Romford Conservative Association
- Not having a “strong belief and understanding of Conservative values”
- Being publicly critical of the Romford Conservative Association
- Not “appear[ing] to do very much door-to-door canvassing”
- Possessing a “single-minded approach to achieving his own ends”.
Cllr Curtin, who has served as a councillor for 15 years, strongly denies all the accusations.
“I think most people will find it amazing,” he said. “I don’t know why I was deselected. Most people know that of all the councillors, I’m the one most interested in the area. It’s fabrication.”
In a confusing twist, Cllr Curtin’s colleague Cllr Michael Armstrong (Pettits), who was also “removed” from his ward has now been named deputy leader of the council following the shock resignation of the leader.
Cllr Curtin, who last week learnt his application against his deslection was rejected by a Tory HQ, said it was “interesting” how differently he and Cllr Armstrong has been treated.
Cllr Curtin, who is cabinet member for culture, towns and communities, said: “People are wondering what they are up to.”
Petitions by residents to save Cllr Curtin have been unsuccessful. He cannot stand in any Romford ward as a Conservative.