January 21, 2020 10.59 am This story is over 48 months old

Boston council leader resigns after ‘conspiracy’ against him

He jumped before he was pushed

One of the youngest council leaders in the country has stepped down after just six months in the role.

Conservative Councillor Aaron Spencer, who took on the job at Boston Borough Council in July 2019 at the age of 27, has resigned as leader of the council and moved to become independent.

Speaking to Local Democracy Reporters today, he accused his former party of conspiring against him.

He said he had been given an option to resign or face a vote of no confidence.

“I said I would resign because I didn’t want to be part of the party,” he said.

“I have said time and again that I didn’t want to engage in highly petty politics.

“They’re old Tories who just want to put party first.

“I have also said publicly I have been putting the town first, above the party and they don’t like that.”

“They wanted a leader who was going to be a bit of a puppet and I’m not like that.”

“It’s a shame because it will be the town that suffers really.”

He said, however, that if councillors proposed him to be leader again he would accept the role.

“I’ve got a lot more to give,” he said.

“If councillors want the best for the town they need to look into themselves and think how do we move forward and if I’m the person who comes to mind as someone with the youth, ambition and vision I will take that mantle on again.”

Councillor Nigel Welton. will take on the role of acting leader.

He said accusations levelled at him regarding his removal of former leader Councillor Michael Cooper from planning committee and that his work for former councillor portfolio tourism holder Alistair Arundell were just “excuses”.

He told reporters he had experienced hostility from Councillor Cooper since events last July, while his employment as general manager at Boston West Golf Club over the festive period had been “legal and above board”.

He added his short tenure at the council had been “hard, really hard.”

“I have put my heart and soul into this and I thought people had my back and were friends with me.”

A spokesman for the authority confirmed that deputy leader Councillor Nigel Welton will act as leader until the authority votes on a new one.

Councillor Spencer’s official Facebook page and Twitter accounts have also  have been taken down.

Conservative members at the council have been contacted for comment.

Bostonian Independent Group member Councillor Neill Hastie told Local Democracy Reporters this morning: “I don’t know the reason why he has stepped down, all I do know is it is a great loss to the town losing him as the leader of the council especially with the alternative options on offer.

“I’m glad he’s staying as an independent and look forward to working closely with him in the future.”

Former Boston Borough Council leader Michael Cooper stepped down last July,

Councillor Spencer took over from former leader Councillor Michael Cooper who stepped down to pursue his own business ventures.

After taking the reins in July last year, Councillor Spencer became one of the youngest in the country.

The latest move will leave the council set up with 15 Conservative group members, seven Independents, five Bostonian Independents, two Labour group members and one unspecified.

It means the Conservatives are currently equal in number to their opposition.

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