Urgent meeting called at Guildhall as eight WNC councillors back motion of 'no confidence' in leader Jonathan Nunn

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Cllr Nunn was convicted of assaulting his second wife in 2004

An extraordinary meeting will be held at the start of next month to allow elected members to vote on their confidence in West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) leader Jonathan Nunn.

The event will take place on Thursday, May 9, at 5pm in the Guildhall, Northampton. The urgent assembly has been called by the council’s Chairman following a request from Independent Cllr Ian McCord.

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According to West Northants Council, the meeting will debate the following motion proposed by Cllr McCord: ‘Notice of Motion – This Council has no confidence in the Leader Cllr Jonathan Nunn.’

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) leader Jonathan NunnWest Northamptonshire Council (WNC) leader Jonathan Nunn
West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) leader Jonathan Nunn

This comes after opposition members called for him to reconsider his position last week, in light of an article published on April 10 by current affairs news magazine Private Eye containing domestic violence allegations.

Speaking previously, Cllr Nunn said that the accusations of abuse against him are “unfounded” and that he has had to contact the police himself over a “campaign of harassment” and an individual seeking to discredit him.

He has admitted publicly he received a community order following a conviction of assault in 2004, but added that “domestic abuse is never acceptable” and that he regrets his “past mistakes”.

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Cllr McCord’s request received the support of eight WNC councillors in total. Both the Labour Group and Liberal Democrats have stated their support for the motion on social media.

Cllr Jonathan Harris (Lib Dem) said: “The Conservative group are failing to act when in reality they hold all the cards. It is disappointing that despite murmurings within, only one has so far come forward to withdraw their support.”

A simple majority is needed to pass the vote– this is more than one-half of the members who are present at the meeting and voting. There are currently 93 councillors in WNC made up of 63 Conservatives and 30 opposition members.

Even if passed, a vote of no confidence does not have any legal effect.

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Cllr McCord said in a statement issued on his website: “The Conservative Group now has a chance to publiclly support or not their Leader. The deafening silence is telling, but I will not misrepresent that as support, opposition, or embarrassment.

“All members can express their view with this motion, support or oppose, pass the motion or defeat the motion, the matter needs to be resolved.”

WNC has confirmed that the voting at the meeting will be recorded through the electronic voting system. If the system malfunctions for any reason then voting will be by a show of hands unless a member (supported by 10 other members) requests a recorded vote.

The agenda for the Extraordinary Meeting will be published on the council website.