Conservative party prepares motion to remove Pete Marland as Milton Keynes Council leader

It remains unclear as to who will run Milton Keynes Council following the election results last week
It remains unclear as to who will run Milton Keynes Council following the election results last week

The Conservative party is ready to move a motion to replace Labour's Pete Marland as Milton Keynes Council leader.

The Tories became the largest party following last Thursday's local elections, but they have only a slender lead which doesn't command a majority, with 24 seats compared to Labour's 21, with the Liberal Democrats on 12.

The previous administration had seen Labour and the Tories tied on 22 seats each, with the Liberal Democrats opting to keep Mr Marland in his position and working with Labour.

And it may be that the Lib Dems have further sway this time around - but the Conservatives are making moves to gain control of the council already.

Discussions remain ongoing between the three parties, but Tory leader Cllr Alex Walker - who at just 26 years of age could become the youngest MK Council leader ever - says that the largest party traditionally takes control in Milton Keynes.

And he confirmed that the Conservatives will move a motion to remove Cllr Marland at the annual council meeting on May 16. Should that vote be successful there would then be a vote for a new Leader.

At the same time though, Labour and the Liberal Democrats could still form a coalition, which would likely keep Labour and Mr Marland in charge.

Councillor Walker said: "I am delighted with the result. Residents backed our vision of change giving us three outstanding new councillors and the most votes across MK.

"We are ready and raring to tackle the big challenges MK faces such as on homelessness and the dire state of our roads.

"My new front bench team are working with officers so we are ready to hit the ground should we take control."

But Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Douglas McCall has claimed that the Conservatives have put no offer on the table for them.

He told the Citizen: "I have received phone calls from the other two leaders. The Conservative party have decided to offer us nothing, which is an interesting negotiating stance.

"Labour have offered to work with us in a coalition.

"We will discuss the offers on the table."

Meanwhile, incumbent leader Pete Marland has said that he will not 'hold on by his fingernails' to leadership.

He said: "Ultimately nobody has an overall majority on the council. The Conservatives are the biggest party but they are a long way off from having a majority.

"Milton Keynes is always split, but I'm not going to hold on by fingernails. If the Liberal Democrats don't want to work with us then that is their decision."