Leading Portsmouth Tories thrown out of power in no-confidence vote

Alistair Thompson and Leo Ciccarone
Alistair Thompson and Leo Ciccarone

The ruling body of a Conservative Party association in Portsmouth has been ousted in a no-confidence vote.

Last night Tory members voted overwhelmingly to sack the Portsmouth South Conservative Association leadership at a meeting at St Agatha’s Church.

It’s understood more than 100 party members turned out for the vote.

READ MORE: No-confidence vote bid at Portsmouth Tory association

Councillor Steve Wemyss was pushed from his position at the association – a move that left Tory members voting that they had no confidence in one of their own councillors who was elected to council office on a party slate.

Association chairman Leo Ciccarone, his deputy Paul Hartley and treasurer Alistair Thompson were all removed from office last night in the vote.

Such was the strength of feeling that a Tory party member in her 90s was reportedly brought into the emergency meeting, and a whip-round was held when it was found her membership had lapsed.

The collected cash – raised by supporters backing the vote – was paid in and her membership was refreshed by a representative from Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) so she could vote.

No replacements have yet been put in to run the association, with another meeting set to decide that.

As reported, it comes at a time when two Conservative councillors, Cllr Jennie Brent and Jim Fleming, have quit the Tory group on the council and become independents.

READ MORE: Portsmouth Conservative councillor goes independent

Cllr Brent’s Tory councillor son, Ryan Brent, has been deselected by the Portsmouth South Conservative Association after another candidate was selected to fight for his ward seat in the next election.