Kettering councillor quits Conservatives over “pack mentality” leadership

Cllr Michael Brown.

Cllr Michael Brown.

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A Kettering councillor has criticised the way the authority is run in a parting shot at the leading Conservative group.

Cllr Michael Brown (Ind, Brambleside) branded Russell Roberts weak and slammed his leadership after resigning from the Tories last night (Monday).

Cllr Brown says he quit after trying to put forward his thoughts on a potential council tax support cut at a Conservative meeting, only to be shot down.

He says that was the final straw - and he will now stand as an independent councillor.

He said: “We were trying to have a meaningful discussion about some of the most vulnerable people in the borough.

“They started heckling me and belittling me when I spoke up and said I didn’t want it to be political.

“I was trying to debate a serious issue and that was it for me. I walked out of the meeting.

“I’m fed up of the pack mentality.

“I’ll always be a Conservative at heart but will not stand as one in Kettering Council under this leadership.”

Cllr Brown has spoken out about a number of controversial issues such as the decision to ban skateboarding and the Poppies’ ongoing Rockingham Road battle.

He says the council’s attitude to the issue has not been acceptable.

He said: “There has been an absolute lack of engagement with people about Rockingham Road over the long-standing issues.

“The fact that they have tried to stop the debate is not acceptable when 4,000-plus people are calling on their representatives to do so.

“Every time I press them on anything I am made out to be a troublemaker when I am standing up for the people of Brambleside and the whole borough.

“I can no longer serve under someone who runs a public authority in such a fashion.”

Leader of the council Russell Roberts said: “Michael Brown has resigned and it is very sad.

“The family we call the Conservatives were really surprised by it.”

Cllr Roberts declined to comment on what happened in the meeting.