January 22, 2020 2.52 pm This story is over 46 months old

Former Boston leader accused of “arbitrary and dictatorial” decisions by Conservatives

The party has launched a complaint into Councillor Spencer’s conduct

Conservatives in Boston have called their former leader “arbitrary and dictatorial” and launched a complaint into “serious concerns”, according to a party statement.

Another former leader, Councillor Michael Cooper, has also rejoined the party after a stint as an unaligned councillor, and been given his seat back as chairman of the planning committee – a role he was recently removed from by Councillor Aaron Spencer.

Now independent councillor Spencer stepped down as leader and a member of the Tory party at Monday night’s Full Council meeting.

He later told reporters that he had chosen to leave rather than face a vote of no confidence and accused his former colleagues of conspiring against him.

A statement from the Conservative party said that the party had disagreed with a number of Councillor Spencer’s recent actions.

Former Boston Borough Council leader Michael Cooper has rejoined the party.

It said: “This has clearly been a turbulent few days following decisions taken by Councillor Spencer and correspondence which he sent, most of which are in the public domain and have been subjected to considerable speculation.

“A clear majority of the Conservative Group expressed their view that this arbitrary and dictatorial approach was at odds with an open, transparent, inclusive, and democratic group.

“Consequently, we are grateful that Councillor Spencer appreciated his position had become untenable and gave notice of his resignation as leader.”

They add, however, that the group have referred “serious concerns” to the council’s Monitoring Officer for investigation under the Code of Conduct.

It is understood this relates to Councillor Spencer’s recent employment as General Manager at Boston West, in Hubberts Bridge.

Councillor Aaron Spencer (centre) with former councillor and then portfolio holder for tourism Alistair Arundell (right) and Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman.

The business is owned by former councillor and tourism portfolio holder Alistair Arundell and a planning application has been made to Boston Borough Council to build 300 caravans and a leisure hub on the site.

The party refused to comment further.

They concluded: “It is of course disappointing that Councillor Spencer has subsequently chosen to leave the group and party, where he has done much good work and made great strides in developing his career since 2011.

“The Conservative Party locally will fulfil our obligations to the people of Boston Borough by continuing to work together as a team and deliver on the commitments we made at the election last year.”

It is understood a group meeting on Tuesday will elect a new group leader who will be put forward as a candidate for the council’s leadership – a further statement could be made at that time.

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