• Thursday, July 18, 2024

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Baggy Shanker slams ‘coalition of chaos’ after losing leadership

His exit comes at a time when Shanker is campaigning to become the next Labour MP of Derby South

Baggy Shanker (Photo: JAKT Photography)

By: Nigel Slater

LABOUR’s Baggy Shanker slammed his rival councillors and a “coalition of chaos” after he was sensationally removed as Derby city council leader during an evening of political fall out and shouts from the public gallery.

The Sinfin and Osmaston councillor lost a no-confidence motion vote on Tuesday (18) night due to the newly elected Tory mayor Ged Potter using a casting vote after the result was tied at 25-25.

Derby council constitutional rules dictate that its leader can lose their role if “they are removed from office by the council”.

Councillor Shanker’s dramatic exit comes at a time when he is campaigning to become the next Labour MP of Derby South – hoping to replace the now retired Dame Margaret Beckett – with the General Election just over a fortnight away.

Fellow Sinfin and Osmaston councillor Nadine Peatfield was elected the new city council leader at the end of a three-hour plus meeting which saw several rows and political tension reach fever pitch.

During the meeting, councillor Shanker received lots of support and was given a standing ovation twice by both his fellow Labour councillors and a large section of the public gallery who booed loudly after realising he had lost his position.

Cllr Shanker both criticised his fellow Derby South parliamentary candidates – and serving city councillors – Alan Graves and Jamie Mulhall – for “exploiting council procedures for political gain”. He said he hoped the people of Derby would see through “political opportunism” within the council chamber.

Speaking just minutes after a lively and fiery extraordinary meeting, councillor Shanker said: “It is obvious to me that this coalition of chaos have just abused council processes for their political purposes.

“It is clear they have got no plan or desire to run the city. It was just about removing me as leader prior to the General Election.

“In Derby South, I will continue to work hard and represent the people of Derby as I’ve done for the last 15 years. I wish Nadine Peatfield every luck in the role as leader of the council. I’m sure she will do a fantastic job.”

At the meeting, Shanker said he was “humbled” by the support he had received in response to news of the no confidence motion. He told the meeting he felt he had “enhanced Derby” during his leadership which began following the local elections in May 2023.

However, winning the local elections by just a minority leadership has caused the ruling Labour group headaches since winning power of the council. They have been outnumbered by opposition councillors twice in their efforts to make Normanton councillor Balbir Singh the mayor of Derby and have been frequently outvoted in the committees chair nominations process.

(Local Democracy Reporting Service)

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