Council plunged into turmoil by expulsion

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DONCASTER Council faces more turmoil after the deputy mayor was expelled from Doncaster Council’s Conservative group in a row over support for mayor Peter Davies.

Coun Patricia Schofield, who was re-elected to the Finningley ward is set to lose the party whip after deciding to stay in her cabinet post as Mr Davies’ deputy against the wishes of the rest of the rest of Tories on the council.

The Tories had refused to allow more than one of their councillors to serve on Mr Davies’ cabinet after a row inside the party, which has seen some Tories call for an end to its working with the mayor.

Coun Cynthia Ransome was to be that one councillor.

The latest blow to Mr Davies’ administration comes just a few days after Labour, which makes up two-thirds of the council, refused to allow any of its councillors to take up places on the cabinet.

It is understood some members of the Conservatives have been calling for them to refuse any places on the cabinet, which has been Labour’s stance, but in the end it was agreed to allow one of the group to sit to give the party influence.

Until the elections, there were three Conservatives on the cabinet.

A statement issued by the Conservatives last night said: “With immediate effect the Conservative Group in Doncaster will not be taking up two of three seats its members have previously occupied within the Doncaster Executive for the last two years.”

Group leader Allan Jones said: “For the last two years Patricia Schofield has served as a Conservative members occupying the post of Deputy Mayor.

“This year we will only be accepting the place of a Portfolio Holder with responsibility for the neighbourhoods agenda.”

“We understand that Patricia Schofield wishes to remain Deputy Mayor and will continue to support the English Democrat Mayor.

“For this reason she will no longer be a part of the Conservative Group.”

Coun Schofield said: “I have said I will stay on the cabinet to have Conservative influence in cabinet.

“You don’t get any influence anywhere else. Whether they want to sack me from the group is up to them.

“Some Conservative members have said they don’t want Conservatives in the cabinet.

“Why not? Where do they think the Conservatives will have any influence then?

“If they sack me the group will be down to eight.”

Mayor of Doncaster Peter Davies said: “I will announce my new cabinet at full council.”