Two senior councillors suspended from Tory group in Plymouth

Councillors “not going quietly” accusations of “bullying and intimidation”  and “gagging” – Where has Owl heard this sort of thing before?

More council “goings on”.

Edward Oldfield

Two senior councillors have been suspended from the Conservative group on Plymouth City Council.

They are former group leader Ian Bowyer, who represents Eggbuckland, and Peverell councillor Tony Carson who is chair of the Plymouth Sutton and Devonport Conservative Association.

The action has been taken by new leader Nick Kelly, who took over from Cllr Bowyer earlier this year.

Cllr Kelly refused to comment, saying it was an internal group matter.

The reason for the suspensions has not been confirmed.

The action follows a press release issued by Cllr Bowyer in September in which he and Cllr Carson called for the speed limit on the A38 in Plymouth to be reduced.

It is understood that the views do not represent local Conservative policy.

Both councillors have now been suspended from the city council’s Conservative group pending an investigation.

Cllr Kelly said: “This is an internal group matter and in view of this we are not going to discuss such matters publicly at this time.”

Cllr Bowyer was first elected for Eggbuckland in 2006 and was the leader of the city council for two years until Labour regained control in 2018.

Cllr Carson is a former member of the council’s Conservative shadow cabinet.

Cllr Carson and Cllr Bowyer declined to comment on their suspension and referred inquiries to the group leader.

The Labour administration tightened their grip on the council at the local elections in 2019, with 30 seats.The Conservatives were left on 25 and there are two Independents.

Elections for 19 seats, including Cllr Carson’s in the Peverell ward, are due to take place in May 2021.

The vote was postponed from May 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The city council usually holds elections for a third of the seats in each of three years, with a break in the fourth year of the cycle.