Rival councillors have called on Mansfield MP Ben Bradley to step down from Nottinghamshire County Council – after he resigned from Ashfield District Council.
Coun Bradley was elected as Mansfield’s first Conservative MP earlier this year – seeing off long-term Labour politician Sir Alan Meale in a surprise win, just a month after the district councillor member for Hucknall north won the Hucknall north division on the county council.
Coun Bradley has now stepped down from Ashfield District Council, but vowed to remain on the county authority.
Coun Bradley said: “At the start of the summer having been elected to Parliament, I promised to think long and hard over the summer recess about my plans going forward.
“Over the last six weeks or so I’ve given more than £2500 to local schools and groups in Hucknall from my council pay as promised, rather than taking any of that money myself, while I considered what to do.
“With Parliament restarting next week I’ve taken the decision to step down from Ashfield d, as it is obvious I think I simply can’t do everything, and something therefore has to give.
“I would like to thank all those who supported me in that role over the last two years, both residents of Hucknall North and staff at the district council.
“I’ve enjoyed the experience as both a councillor and as Conservative group leader at Ashfield, although of course I have not always agreed with some of the decisions taken by its leadership.”
However, Councillor Alan Rhodes, leader of the opposition Labour group on the county authority, said his resignation from one council is not enough.
He said: “While we welcome the news Ben has stood down from his role as the Ashfield district councillor for Hucknalll, he should now do the right thing for both Hucknall and Mansfield and stand down from his county councillor position as well.
“Mansfield deserves a full-time MP and Hucknall deserves a county councillor that can dedicate themselves to getting the very best for the area, Ben should stand down as the county councillor for Hucknall with immediate effect.”
Coun Bradley said: “Obviously Coun Rhodes would have a vested interest in my stepping down, but the reality is the decision is nothing at all to do with him.
“It’s about doing what I feel is right for the people of Hucknall, of Mansfield and also for me and my family.
“I recognise I can’t do it all and that is why I have stepped back from Ashfield, but there is a great strategic benefit for the whole county in having a direct link to Parliament and keeping that line of communication open.
“It gives the county council’s agenda more of a voice in Parliament.
“If Coun Rhodes had the best interests of Nottinghamshire at heart, rather than just seeing a chance for Labour to gain a seat, then he would recognise the benefit my involvement at County Hall can have for local residents.”
A by-election for the Ashfield seat is expected to take place in October.