‘Best laugh since watching You’ve Been Framed” says McGuire when told of UKIP alliance plan for county

BBC Radio Cambs visit by Peter Reeve after county council election results were announced

BBC Radio Cambs visit by Peter Reeve after county council election results were announced - Credit: Archant

TORY and Labour leaders poured scorn today on a suggestion from UKIP county councillor Peter Reeve that a coalition of minority groups could control Cambridgeshire.

Conservative candidates in Cambridge last month for the launch of their manifesto

Conservative candidates in Cambridge last month for the launch of their manifesto - Credit: Archant

“If I could get Labour, Lib Dems and independents to have a coalition group there would be no need to have Conservatives in power,” Cllr Reeves told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

Cambridgeshire County Council Election count, at One Leisure, St Neots, Mac McGuire

Cambridgeshire County Council Election count, at One Leisure, St Neots, Mac McGuire - Credit: Archant

However Labour’s Paul Sales immediately knocked the idea on the head, saying Cllr Reeve “may be an enthusiastic guy but he fails to understand how councils work.”

Count me in? Cllr Steve Count (right) tipped as possible leadership contender. Pictured with Steve T

Count me in? Cllr Steve Count (right) tipped as possible leadership contender. Pictured with Steve Tierney who lost his Wisbech area seat. - Credit: Archant

Cllr Sales said his seven strong group might vote on certain issues with other parties but there would be no agreement, formal or informal.

His comments came on a day when interim leader Councillor Mac McGuire confirmed he was a candidate for the post left vacant by the defeat of Nick Clarke.


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Cllr McGuire said he was amused by the UKIP suggestion of a coalition to run Cambridgeshire.

“Gosh, that’s the best laugh I have had since watching You’ve Been Framed,” he said. “What an unholy alliance that would make.”

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Cllr McGuire said the leadership of the Conservative group would be decided later this week “and I am acting leader till then. Things carry on. We are the largest in the county council and we will be invited by the chief executive to form an administration.”

He confirmed he would “throw my hat in the ring” for the leadership, having served as deputy to Nick Clarke for the past two years and promised continuity if elected.

“Am I Nick Clarke?” he told the BBC. “I am different from Nick Clarke, most are. “He had a particular style and energy. He was unusual and will be a great loss to us.”

Cllr McGuire said he had been a county councillor since 1985 “and most people on the council know my style is different from Nick but I was his deputy and helped formulate much of the policy.

“Our policies have not and will not change simply because Nick Clarke is no longer at the helm.”

Tory sources indicated today that Councillor Steve Count, who held onto his March seat, was another contender for leadership.

He has been widely praised among many colleagues at Shire Hall for his Cabinet role looking after the county’s finances. He was unavailable for comment.

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