Dean Ruddle steps out on his own
Resignations of politicians from the major political parties is not, after all, last weeks news.
Dean Ruddle who is the Conservative County Councillor for Somerton, and Conservative District Councillor for Wessex Ward (which includes Somerton) had already resigned the Conservative whip last year to sit as an independent.
Earlier this month he agreed with David Fothergill, Leader of the Conservative administration at County Hall, that he would consider rejoining the Conservative Group.
Today we were informed by Dean that he has decided to leave the Conservative Party for once and for all.
He told us “For some time I have been struggling with the direction of the Conservative party both nationally and locally. I resigned as chair of the county council audit committee last year due to financial mismanagement and lack of vision. Yesterday I attended the South Somerset District Council Conservative councillor Group meeting prior to full council. There was little forward thinking and subsequent voting in the council convinced me I was no longer in the right party.”
In his capacity as a District Councillor, he will have elections to fight this May so there is little point in holding a by-election. He still intends to stand for election in the community he grew up in and still lives in, but it will be as an Independent. He told us “The local party has considerable division with some councillors more interested in personal position rather than the needs of those we were elected to represent. I cannot in all conscience remain and continue the illusion that all is well. As a result I have today resigned my membership of the Conservative Party. I will continue to represent all those in my Wessex Ward.”
In response to a request from The Leveller for a comment David Norris, Chairman of Somerton & Frome Conservatives told us “Cllr Ruddle had been suspended by the party and subsequently resigned.”