Council boss rejects talk of by-election after councillor defects from Ukip

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A COUNCIL boss has dismissed calls for a by-election after a councillor defected from Ukip to the Conservatives.

Chris Wood, who led the Ukip groups on Hampshire County Council and Fareham Borough Council, defected to the Tories on Tuesday, leading to calls for him to resign his seat and fight for it on both authorities in a by-election.

But Cllr Sean Woodward, the borough council’s leader has brushed away talk of a by-election due to the fact that there is only seven months until Cllr Wood’s Fareham Crofton seat goes up for election on the county council.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘If he were to resign and a by-election called, whoever did take the seat would only serve for seven months, which would be ridiculous.

‘Councillors are elected on a four-year term so I don’t think there is really much sense in holding one.

‘I do not think it is fair to the electorate and would be a waste of money if we held one.’

Lid Dem borough councillor Shaun Cunningham, and Cllr Colin Galloway, who leads the Ukip group on Portsmouth City Council, have called for a by-election.

Speaking to BBC South, Cllr Wood rejected calls for a by-election, stating: ‘If I were to stand down now and hold a by-election at the end of November there would 
only be six months left until the county council elections and I think that would be a waste of the taxpayer’s money.’

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