Portsmouth councillor resigns after admitting ‘his heart is no longer in role’

Ken Ferrett
Ken Ferrett
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A PORTSMOUTH councillor has quit months before he was up for re-election after admitting his ‘heart wasn’t in the role’ any more.

Ken Ferrett said he found his motivation to carry on had been ‘diminishing’ ever since he left the Labour Party after Jeremy Corbyn’s appointment as leader.

Mr Ferrett left the Labour Party in September last year and took up an independent seat on the council due to ‘fundamental political differences’ with the veteran left-wing national politician.

Mr Ferrett, who was elected to Portsmouth’s Nelson ward in 2012, had ruled out joining another party. In his resignation letter to city solicitor Michael Lawther, Mr Ferrett said: ‘Since September, I have been considering my options and having ruled out joining another political group or standing for re-election in May, I have found my motivation to continue in the role of a councillor diminishing.

‘In these circumstances, it would not feel right to continue being paid allowances for the next few months when my heart is no longer in the role. For this reason, combined with recent personal issues, I have taken the decision to stand down as a councillor for Nelson ward with immediate effect.

‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank yourself, chief executive David Williams and local democracy manager Stewart Agland for your help and support during my time as a councillor.’

In these circumstances, it would not feel right to continue being paid allowances for the next few months when my heart is no longer in the role.

Ken Ferrett

His brother, Portsmouth Labour group leader John Ferrett, yesterday tweeted: ‘The Labour Party can ill-afford to lose people like Ken – same applies to council.’

It comes after Cllr Aiden Gray, deputy Labour group leader, said he was considering his future in the party because of its political direction.

Cllr Gray said: ‘I feel sometimes he didn’t get the credit he deserved for the work he did. I have always had utmost respect for Ken. It’s a body-blow to the council to lose such a great guy.’

Tory council leader Donna Jones said: ‘The abuse that a number of the Labour councillors have suffered over the recent months since the election of Jeremy Corbyn, has been disgraceful. Cllr Ferrett has been an exceptional councillor and served Portsmouth and the people of Nelson ward well.’

The resignation will not trigger a by-election. An election will be held in May.