Labour-controlled Sandwell Council – for years the bastion of the Labour right – has elected a council leader from the left. Yvonne Davies – a no-nonsense councillor who has frequently butted heads with local MPs Tom Watson and John Spellar – was elected this evening by 35 votes to 33.
Sandwell’s previous two council leaders resigned: Watson ally Steve Eling after being suspended by the Labour Party after a number of serious complaints about his conduct which have seen his case referred to the party’s ultimate disciplinary body; his successor Steve Trow, whom many considered a place-holder in the expectation that Eling would eventually return, resigned on the night of the local elections results.
Cllr Davies has also accused Watson of ‘making my life a misery’ and according to numerous eye-witnesses was the target of concerted aggression from senior councillors for criticising another Watson-Eling ally during a council meeting. She was fully exonerated by the party.
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