Sandwell councillor Bill Gavan applies to join Conservatives
Sandwell councillor Bill Gavan, who acted as former MP Tom Watson’s driver, has applied to join the Conservatives. If his application is accepted when he meets Tory officials next week, his defection will gift the Tories their first councillor in the borough in five years.
Gavan was reported last May to have stood up in the annual general meeting of Sandwell Council’s Labour group to announce:
I resign from the group and the Labour Party and will be joining the opposition and I invite others to join me.
However, he subsequently denied that he had resigned.
Gavan mentioned the deselection by the Labour Party of “many lovely councillors” among the reasons for his application to the Tories. Councillors who were deselected or expelled from the party in Sandwell included:
- Bill Cherrington, Caroline White and Julie Webb, who had supported a rival candidate in local elections. Cherrington subsequently joined the Brexit party
- former council leader Steve Eling, who resigned after ‘serious’ complaints
- David Hosell, who called Sandwell’s female council leader a ‘gutter wench’ shortly after Tom Watson defended him
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