With nominations for next month’s local government elections due in today, there has been a surprise emergence of a new party in Sandwell. The Traditional Conservative Party, led by former Tory council leader Tony Ward, was founded earlier this year and will be contesting three wards, Newton, Great Barr & Yew Tree and Old Warley, in the election due to be held on 5th May.
Cllr Ward, whose Charlemont with Grove Vale seat is not due for re-election until 2014, told The Birmingham Press, “After fifty years in the Conservative Party I do not support what they are now doing. If elected, our candidates will be acting in the best interests of the people in this area.”
Cllr Ward was deposed as Tory group leader last May, after the party failed to cash in on the national unpopularity of the Labour government in the 2010 local elections, losing two seats on Sandwell council.
The emergence of the new party completes a dismal year for Conservatives in the borough, who have also seen one councillor temporarily suspended from the party, deputy leader Elaine Costigan defect to Labour, her father, long-serving former mayor Bill Archer, resign from the party and the subsequent loss of his seat in Wednesbury North, which he had held for over 35 years.