Ousted North Northamptonshire Council deputy blasts 'behind the scenes deals and broken promises'
There was no place for Cllr Martin Griffiths in the executive team announced at last night’s first ever NNC meeting
The man who was unceremoniously ditched as deputy leader of the North Northants Conservative group after a re-run zoom ballot has hit out at the 'broken promises' he says he experienced recent months.
Councillor Martin Griffiths was leader of Wellingborough Council and deputy leader of the North Northamptonshire Shadow Council in the early stages of the authority being set up.
Last week he won an internal Tory contest to be the deputy leader of the new council's ruling Conservative group, and had originally expected to be named deputy of the authority at tonight's first NNC meeting.
But the day after the initial zoom vote, leading Tories said that technical glitches meant it must be run again - and Cllr Griffiths lost out to Councillor Helen Howell, causing fury among Cllr Griffiths's camp and prompting an appeal against the decision.
Earlier this week, after complaints from angry members, Conservative Campaign Headquarters joined another local Tory zoom conflab to ratify the vote that went against Cllr Griffiths.
And when Cllr Smithers announced his executive team last night, there was no room for his former deputy, who sent his apologies to the meeting.
Now, Cllr Griffiths, talking exclusively to this newspaper, has spoken out about the underhand tactics he says he has experienced.
He said: "Politics, especially in this neck of the woods, is full of all sorts of skulduggery and intrigue, with behind the scenes deals, pacts, long knives and broken promises, sadly part of the political landscape.
"That apart, I will continue to serve and represent the villages in this beautiful part of the county, helping the single mum threatened with homelessness, or the local business to get a grant to stay open, or the elderly lady with dementia find the grave of her long lost son.
"Fourteen years as a public servant and five years as a council leader leaves me well placed to support, where I can, to make sure that the officer team that I helped to recruit, remains motivated, and that the vision for our new council that I helped to create, is fulfilled.
"Only a well-run council with a close, strong and professional officer / member relationship will enable this area to bounce back and prosper as we come through this dreadful pandemic and to never ever repeat the well-remembered mistakes of the past.
"I hope and pray that those elevated to higher office never forget why we are where we are,and that they are here to serve the best interests of ALL 348,000 residents of North Northamptonshire, in a cross party and inclusive way, to create an exemplary council that we can be truly proud of.
"I wish them well!"