Tory councillor quits party over ‘cynical’ election move

By Mark Pritchett in Local People

PROMINENT Taunton Deane councillor Gwil Wren has resigned from the Conservative party following the decision to call a snap General Election.

Mr Wren, councillor for Milverton & North Deane since 2011, said the party was putting itself ahead of the country at a difficult time after the Brexit vote.

Mr Wren, who works part-time as Milverton’s parish clerk, said he was a ‘One Nation’ Tory and had been seriously considering his membership of the party since last year’s EU Referendum.

He said: “Unfortunately the events of the last two years have shown my faith in the Government adhering to these principles has been misplaced and it is clear that the party is moving rapidly to the right. Therefore it is with sadness I acknowledge that I can no longer support or represent the Conservative party as a Taunton Deane councillor.”

Mr Wren said he had always supported UK membership of the EU and was dismayed former Prime Minister David Cameron put 40 years of economic and political stability in Europe at risk to heal divisions in the Conservative party.

Mr Cameron had managed to split the country and possibly fatally weaken Europe.

Mr Wren added: “It is clear that Theresa May, rather than taking stock, has decided to embrace Brexit with all the zeal and myopia of the convert.

“Principally, this seems to be because supporting Brexit offers an electoral opportunity to control people who would never otherwise contemplate voting Conservative.

“It is this kind of short-term, cynical, party-before-nation attitude that really disturbs me. The announcement of a snap election is all about seeking to consolidate Tory power rather than leading and healing a nation in a turbulent and uncertain period.”

Mr Wren said he had intended to announce his resignation after the county council elections but events had moved swiftly with the announcement of the General Election.

He has tendered his resignation from the Taunton Deane Conservative group to Cllr John Williams and will serve the rest of his term as an Independent councillor.

He said he had no issues with his former party colleagues in Taunton Deane and thanked Mr Williams and the Conservative group for the help and support they had offered him over the last seven years.

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