Doncaster Conservative Coun Nicholas Allen: ‘Brexit was big factor but Theresa May has my backing’ after party suffers massive losses in local elections
A Doncaster Conservative councillor has said the Brexit situation was a ‘big factor’ in the party losing over 1,300 elected members in councils across the country.
Bessacarr councillor Nicholas Allen - who voted to leave the EU himself – said the results were a rejection of the big parties and the disarray over the progress of leaving the European Union and a ‘general apathy’ towards politicians.
He said he ‘shares concerns’ with many people around the way Brexit is being handled.
The UK was due to leave the EU on March 29 but a consensus on a deal moving forward has not yet been agreed by MPs.
Coun Allen said a lot of Conservative voters ‘stayed at home’ on the day or moved their vote as a protest vote at the Brexit situation.
But he added he is still backing under-fire Prime Minister Theresa May who faces increasing pressure from many MPs, councillors and swathes of grassroots members for her to stand down as party leader.
There was no elections in Doncaster this year but Coun Allen was on the campaign trail in Barnsley where Tory councillors were defending seats.
The Conservative Party had a bad night in the nearby borough which saw the official opposition change hands to the Liberal Democrats.
Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Coun Allen said: “Theresa May inevitably is going to have to continue the course of Brexit – we can’t just change leader half way through.
“People might grumble about that but the fact is there is no obvious successor.”
“I do share people’s concerns and some anger over this because I voted to leave the EU and the idea that the Government are not really doing Brexit is a legitimate thing – this was certainly picked up on the doorstep when I was out campaigning with candidates in Barnsley.
“The winners were the independents and the smaller parties – it’s the rejection of the three main parties even though the Lib Dems seemed to pick up a a fair few seats they nationally have fewer than 15 per cent of councillors.
"Labour certainly aren’t making the progress they need to be making to get into Government.
“But I don’t see this as a rejection of Theresa May
“We’ve been at a real high point in local government for so long – It’s not that difficult to understand some of the losses because we’ve had so many councillors elected and had a lot of success in the last 15 years.
“Brexit has been a big issue but there is also a general apathy towards politicians generally. We encountered as much hostility around Jeremy Corbyn as we did Theresa May.”