Former Labour councillor selected by Tories to fight safe blue seat

Posted On 15 Mar 2021 at 11:52 am


A former Labour councillor who quit over anti-Semitism has been selected by the Conservatives to fight a safe blue seat in an upcoming by-election.

Conservative Councillor Lee Wares formally handed in his resignation as ward councillor for Patcham on Friday, after announcing he was planning to move to Devon to care for his elderly parents last month.

Following a selection process earlier this month, Anne Meadows was selected to fight the resulting by-election, which is expected to take place on 6 May, the same day as the police and crime commissioner elections.

Mrs Meadows previously represented Moulsecoomb and Bevendean for Labour, before quitting to join the Tories in February 2019, ahead of that year’s May elections.

She said she had resigned after being bullied and become a target for anti-Semitism, most infamously after her face was superimposed onto a cartoon of dancing rabbis by a hard left campaigner.

She failed to win back her seat, winning just 7% of the vote in the traditionally Labour stronghold. One of her successors in the ward, Councillor Kate Knight, subsequently quit the party after being accused of anti-Semitism and now sits as an independent.

However, Patcham is a strong Tory seat, with the party’s three candidates picking up 48% of the votes between them in 2019.

Mrs Meadows said: “I am so pleased to be able to stand for the Conservative Party in the ward where I live with my husband Tony and two sons, who went to the local schools.

“I work for the NHS at the Royal Sussex County Hospital. As a resident of Brighton I was delighted when we moved over the hill to Patcham about 20 years ago. Like many others I love living here and want to see more care taken of the area.

“Councillor Lee Wares moving away has opened up an opportunity where it will be hard to follow in his footsteps, but I have previous experience as a councillor and feel I can build on this good work.

“If elected I will work just as hard on your behalf alongside my two councillor colleagues Alistair McNair and Carol Theobald.”

Mr Wares said: “I have loved serving the Patcham & Hollingbury Ward. Anne Meadows has the experience and love of the ward to continue our great work, and I wish her every success.”

Councillor Steve Bell, Conservative group leader, said: “I was delighted to hear that the federation have chosen Anne, a seasoned campaigner and highly experienced councillor, who has a great understanding of how the council works.

“Anne brings extensive knowledge of housing and adult social care, and will strengthen the Conservative group in Brighton and Hove City Council.”

  1. Jojo Goldsmith Reply

    A very clever pick by the Conservatives – a moderate. Once Momentum Labour eventually back the OSR cycle lane, (because we all know that Platts being a Patsy will bow down to her Green Masters), they will be looking to sweep up in the West of the city 2023. Disaffected Labour voters will be looking for moderate Conservatives, and a moderate Conservative Party locally, this is a good start.

  2. Jane C Reply

    I’m really disappointed at this as a Tory voter. It’s bottom of the barrel stuff… we had a great councillor in Lee and now we have to take a candidate who lacks ability, does not connect with the community and is willing to change her political ideology on a whim just to sit as a councillor. It really is the pursuit of power at all costs. I don’t trust her and won’t be voting.

  3. Jonathan Simons Reply

    Not sure it’s accurate to call it a safe tory seat now Lee is gone. He would be able to hold on to it pretty much forever but Anne Meadows is a pretty unpalatable pick for people of any political persuasion.

  4. Rose Reply

    There’s no difference between Red (purple) & the Blue. Both establishment parties & both designed to prevent progressive change.

  5. John Taylor Reply

    The Greens need to be held to account for their destruction of our city.
    How did the Big Lemon manage to secure a lucrative contract from the council considering its owner is a Brighton Green councillor. We must have skilled councillors who are prepared to bring to account the mismanagement of the Greens. All the best Anne Meadows I hope you are elected!

    • Jonathan Simons Reply

      If you want a skilled councillor then Anne Meadows is definitely not what you want. An utter litany of failures from her as chair of housing, most of which the conservatives rightly criticised her for but now want her!

      • John Taylor Reply

        You must be a Momentum Labour party supporter, the party that fell apart trying to run the council under your failed leader Nancy Platts. The Conservatives know talent when they see it.

        • Jonathan Simons Reply

          Sorry no I can’t stand momentum, as I’ve said on here several times. The conservatives took her because she was a councillor at the time, hard to see why they want her know. She joined them because Labour deselected her so she evidently wanted to stay as a Labour councillor.

  6. Jon Reply

    Is this a clever ploy by Labour to take over the Tory Party ?

  7. PUNTER123 Reply

    minor !double-blimey! = yes, municipal politics at its best = perm any three-for-one who will win =

  8. Dan Wilson Reply

    Regardless of party affiliation, or factional loyalty in either, let it be said that Anne Meadows is, at best, a mediocre talent. And she does love a free buffet.

    She doesn’t have an eye for detail. Or a consideration of the big picture that a local councillor really needs. She is also sometimes quite unpleasant in her dealings with people she considers to be inferior to her. I wonder why she joined the Conservatives?

    But it does seem that she does have the political talent to be selected for two safe seats for two different political parties in Brighton and Hove. And so there will be more free buffets for Cllr Anne Meadows! The city gets the leaders it deserves.

    • Chaz. Reply

      B&H certainly does get the leader it deserves Dan.
      The Greens Phil McCavity has seen far more buffets than most.
      Looks like you have too?

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