A councillor who switched political allegiances barely two months after being re-elected has been accused of “letting down” constituents by his former party.
Nick Bennett, who was re-elected as a Labour councillor for the Kingsway Ward in May, has announced this week that he has resigned from Labour and joined Mansfield Independent Forum (MIF).
East Midlands labour said the move was “no surprise” – considering Coun Bennett has now been a member of four political parties since beginning his career in 2007.
An East Midlands Labour Party spokesperson said: “This comes as no surprise from someone who has been a member of the Conservatives and UKIP.”
“Nick Bennett has let down his constituents because only Labour can stand up for people in Mansfield.”
Questions are now being raised about whether there should be a by-election in the ward.
In response, Coun Bennett said there are cost implications for the council in holding a by-election, and stressed that he will continue to work for all the residents in Kingsway ward, irrespective of their political persuasion.
Councillor Nick Bennett said his decision to resign “had not been taken lightly” but said he had been optimistic that the Labour councillors elected in May would bring a “fresh approach to the council”.
He said: “Regretfully it’s more of the same old, same old with some Labour councillors more concerned with their personal positions on council committees... than the best interests of the voters.”
Executive Mayor Kate Allsop welcomed Cllr Bennett to the Independent Forum and emphasised that his wish to contribute openly, honestly and directly would fit in well with the independent way in which the forum works.