Waveney in the balance as Andrew Draper finally resigns

Former Cllr Andrew Draper
Disgraced Worlingham councillor Andrew Draper finally resigned today following his conviction in August for drink driving and assaulting a police officer. He is said to have shouted "don't you know I'm a Councillor?" as he was arrested.

He quickly resigned from the Cabinet and eventually from the Conservative party but despite a Standards Committee case refused to resign as a councillor until today.

His resignation means there will be a by-election which will determine the political control of the council which is on a knife-edge.

Some will reflect on the lack of leadership shown by Waveney leader Colin Law who seemed content to see Draper remain and his vote prop up his Tory administration. Colin Law welcomed his departure today saying:
Colin Law
Waveney Leader
Andrew Draper has reached the conclusion that it is no longer appropriate for him to remain as a Councillor. It was always a decision for him alone to make and I both accept, and agree, that this is the right thing for him to do.
But Law seemed less sure back in August when he said:
He is a good councillor and has been well received in his ward.“I stand by him as a councillor and naturally, going forward, we will have to see how it pans out.”
Interestingly the other Worlingham councillor is Suffolk CC's Leader Mark Bee and it will be interesting to see what he has to say on this issue. He seems to have been remarkably quiet so far about it.

Whilst Andrew Draper clearly behaved extremely badly in what could well have been an a moment of madness he could simply have immediately resigned and could even have then rebuilt a political career at a later point. This was a massive misjudgement by Draper and in allowing it by Law and it will be interesting to see if the Conservatives end up loosing control of Waveney over this.

Julian Swainson, Waveney Labour
Waveney's Labour Leader Julian Swainson now has an opportunity to take control of the Council that many thought he should have been leader of in May and under circumstances nobody could have predicted. Maybe this is a dose of political karma?
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