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Cambridge Labour in turmoil as deputy council leader resigns - and blasts direction party is taking

A leading city councillor has announced her resignation with a parting shot criticising the ruling Labour group for losing its way in listening to residents.

Former deputy leader Alex Collis (Lab, King’s Hedges) made the announcement on social media today (Monday, May 15) following last night’s shock news that Cllr Anna Smith would be replaced as leader.

Alex Collis has announced her resignation from the council. Picture: Keith Heppell
Alex Collis has announced her resignation from the council. Picture: Keith Heppell

Cllr Smith (Lab, Coleridge) has been replaced by Cllr Mike Davy (Lab, Petersfield), who will officially become leader of Cambridge City Council later this month.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Cllr Collis said: “I have today resigned as a city councillor. There are many reasons behind this, which I’m happy to discuss privately, but ultimately I found myself unable to remain part of the current city Labour group.

“I don’t care for the current direction it’s taking, for some of the behaviours that I’ve seen, and most importantly how it appears to have lost its way in listening to residents on the important issues. I wish I could’ve stayed, and done more of the work I really care about. But I couldn’t.”

Cllr Collis has also resigned her membership of the Labour Party for “very similar reasons”.

“It isn’t the party that I joined, and it doesn’t reflect my values any more,” she wrote.

She continued: “As you can imagine, I feel really sad about this. To be honest, I’m devastated. But I was an activist before I was a councillor, and I will be an activist long after today. I don’t need to be elected to the city council to do that.

“Thank you to all those who ever voted for me, to all those who pushed me to do better, and especially to the King’s Hedges team for all their support. And to the wonderful officer teams in open spaces and community services, with whom I worked closely.

I remain proud of all the work that I did, with others, on food justice. Time now to look after myself a bit more, to rest and recover. I might be quite quiet for a bit, but you can’t keep me down for long.”

Cllr Collis was re-elected to the city council on May 5, meaning a by-election will be required to fill the vacant position.

A spokesperson for Cambridge Labour said: “We’re waiting [for] further official confirmation of Cllr Collis’s resignation, but we are sad to hear of her intentions to stand down.

“She has been an outstanding campaigner to tackle food poverty and is a person of principle. We therefore respect her decision, albeit with disappointment and wish her well.”

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