Mayor is forced to stand as an independent after party selection dispute

HAPPIER TIMES Councillor Marjorie Smallcorn, the Conservative Mayor of Havant, is standing as an independent in the election

HAPPIER TIMES Councillor Marjorie Smallcorn, the Conservative Mayor of Havant, is standing as an independent in the election

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THE Mayor of Havant has spoken of her hurt after being deselected by her party for the local election, despite being a Conservative stalwart.

Marjorie Smallcorn has represented Cowplain for the Tories for the past 13 years.

She asked to stand as mayor from May 2014 because she felt she would be too unwell to stand again as councillor for another four years.

Her health improved but when she explained she would be standing again she claims she was ignored and Narinder Bains was selected instead.

Mrs Smallcorn, a retired grandmother, will now stand as an independent candidate.

She said: ‘When it came to it I said that I did want to stand. But they said I couldn’t and would not budge on it. Apart from the chairman of the branch they all voted against me.

‘It made me feel very upset and hurt. I’ve been a Conservative councillor for 13 years. I’ve worked 
hard.

‘It wasn’t until it was announced at the last full council meeting by the leader that I had retired – which I hadn’t – did I think “no, I want to stand again as an independent”.’

Mrs Smallcorn won a third term with a majority of more than 
1,000.

She said there was another councillor who also wanted to be mayor last year but she was picked because, at the time, she thought she would be too unwell to continue as a councillor.

‘As you get older things happen,’ said Mrs Smallcorn, who has Raynaud’s disease, a circulation 
condition.

‘I had broken my toe and my knees were bad.

‘But my health has really improved over the past year. I’ve always been a loyal Conservative but I’m a parochial councillor and my constituents come before the party.’

School governor and local government officer Mrs Bains has been selected instead.

She did not respond to a request from The News to comment.

Councillor Mike Cheshire, leader of council and head of the Conservatives, said: ‘As far as I’m concerned she left the Conservative party and is now in opposition.

‘I won’t be drawn on this.’

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