Liberal Democrats on Lewes District Council have slammed what they call a new ‘Tory/UKIP Coalition’.
Cllr Rob Blackman, the Conservative Leader of the council, this week announced his new administration, which includes a UKIP councillor from Peacehaven.
Phil Howson, who left the Tories when he was deselected for an East Sussex County Council seat, has been given the Stakeholder Improvement portfolio in the enlarged Cabinet. Seats in the Cabinet entitle a councillor to claim an extra allowance of more than £5,500 a year.
“This goes to show the lengths to which the previously sacked Tory Leader will go to cling on to power,” said Cllr Sarah Osborne, the Lib Dem Leader. “Former Tory defector Phil Howson’s ‘Stakeholder Improvement portfolio’ sounds like a made up role to me and as Rob Blackman’s party is no longer the largest party in the council, even with two Ukip votes the coalition will have to rely on the continued support of Independent Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe.”