Paul Stainton interviews Charles Day Conservative councillor for Walton, who has been deselected for the seat without being told why.
Thursday 11th March 2011, on the Peterborough Breakfast Show.
PB: Now a councillor for Walton has been left mystified after being deselected by the Peterborough Tory Party. Cllr Charles Day will be replaced by Adam Barker as the Conservative’s candidate for the next election. Charles Day is with us this morning. Morning Charles.
CD: Good morning.
PB: Not quite a perfect day. What’s going on?
CD: I have absolutely no idea.
PB: Who have you upset?
CD: Probably because I’m not a yes-man, probably a few people, but it really is mystifying to me. Just recently I got a letter from Stewart Jackson thanking me from the House of Commons, thanking me for the good work I do in the ward.
CD: And, about four hours before I was deselected, I was told, complimented in the Town Hall, that I was one of the more active councillors. So I seem to be, I thought, well I thought I was doing my job. So I’ve got no idea why I’ve been deselected.
PB: Yeah, I mean, you and your family have given quite sterling service, haven’t you, to Peterborough City Council.
CD: Yes. My son is a city councillor, my wife is a city councillor, now my father-in-law is standing for Paston in the coming up elections in May.
PS: So is this something .. does this represent the power struggle that’s going on within the Conservative Party in the local council here?
CD: It gives me no other version but to believe there’s something in it from the point of view that I’ve done nothing wrong in some respects, nothing that I know of as such and nobody will tell me what I’ve done wrong, so it gives the impression that basically I just don’t fit in the future plans for somebody higher than me.
PB: Yeah, there was a change of leader within the Tory party quite vocally recently, Marco Cereste replacing John Peach as Leader. Does that have something to do with it?
CD: Well it is a possible, if you know what I mean, there is a possibility that John Peach actually wants to get back the Leadership as such it is it is basically his life in some respects. When that finished last year such he was literally he had absolutely nothing to do every day so it is a very very very good possible, especially for the people that was on the selection panel as such, surrounding him, that deselected me.
PB: Right. Who did you vote for in the leadership election?
CD: I voted for John, funnily enough. Yes.
PB: Well why would he deselect you then?
CD: I have no idea.
PB: If that’s what you’re saying he did, yes, you were alluding to that.
CD: And it’s open knowledge that I actually told Marco that I didn’t vote for him. He knows that.
PB: Right. It’s all very strange isn’t it? All very strange. So Adam Barker is going to replace you, I mean, is he, can he do the job you’ve done?
CD: Well I looked up on the .. your websites as such and apparently the last year he was in as a councillor for Fletton as such he attended four meetings in the year. I did four meetings on the day I was deselected, so I have no idea what .. whether the man’s capable or not this time round to do the job, but what I actually do in the ward as such it’s a case of I’ve been in the ward since 1968. So it’s a case of I personally don’t think he can do it. But watch this space. See what the people of Walton see.
PB: What are you going to do, Charles, now, now you’re not going to be a Conservative any more?
CD: Well first off I’ve got no choice I’ve got to go to the Chairman of the Conservative Association demand the reason for why I’ve been deselected as such because obviously I stand for the people of Walton. I’ve got to tell them something. I don’t know is not good enough. And I’m not so sure as I can run away and hide under a stone and forget I ever stood as a councillor as such. I actually do enjoy the job, you know, there’s lots of things involved, there’s a lot of things I don’t want to give up, so I haven’t got many choices. I’ve not made a final decision at this moment in time on what to do, if you know what I mean, But I’m not so sure as I’m going to disappear.
PB: Well, listen, we wish you all the best, Charles, and we’ll do our best to find out as well. We have been in touch with various people at the council, and John Peach, and hopefully we’ll try and get a reason for you before the show ends at nine o’clock this morning. That’s Charles Day, who’s been deselected by the Conservative Party as a councillor for Walton. He will stand as an Independent I understand…. curiouser and curiouser.