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Conservative councillor resigns over Housing Benefit proposals

Cllr Matthew James who represents St Marys and Summercombe Ward on Torbay Council has resigned from the Conservative Party to sit as an independent.

He says:

"The recently announced plan by the government to look at removing housing benefits from everyone under the age of 25 was the final straw and is something that I, as a young person, cannot support."

Cllr James says that  he "will probably still support much of what the Conservative group puts forward" and adds: "I would like to apologise to the voters who voted for me because I was the Conservative candidate. "

Asked about standing resigning his seat to fight a byelection he said he though this would be unreasonable as it would cost the Council Taxpayers £6,000.

Of course I disagree with Cllr James about Housing Benefit  - as do 80% of people according to a Populus poll I saw this morning.  But the polite and apologetic manner of his resignation is rather disarming.


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