County council UKIP leader stands down as he prepares to fight NW Cambridgeshire Parliamentary seat

Cllr Peter Reeve UKIP. Cllr Peter Reeve UKIP.

Sunday, December 8, 2013
1:49 PM

The UKIP leader on Cambridgeshire County Council, Peter Reeve, has moved to the back benches as he prepares to fight NW Cambs at the next general election.

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Mr Reeve, a county councillor for Ramsey, said he opted to hand over the reigns now as the ‘shadow’ process begins at Shire Hall, Cambridge, ahead of the move from a cabinet to a committee system.

His replacement as leader of the 12 strong UKIP group on the county council is Paul Bullen, a former RAF officer, magistrate and county councillor for St Ives. His deputy will be Simon Bywater, a county councillor for Sawtry and Ellington.

Mr Reeve denied in a BBC Radio Cambridgeshire interview that the timing of his resignation was connected with the simmering row over Wisbech councillor Gordon Gillick.

Martin Curtis, leader of the county councillor, is among those who criticised Mr Gillick over remarks allegedly made at a meeting between councillors and young people who had been in care.

There have been 12 complaints to the standards committee of the county council about the alleged remarks but Mr Reeve insists that Mr Gillick has been “misquoted”.

Mr Curtis, who tweeted last week that people should “run a Gillick petition” and “hurt him as an individual” has since apologised for using the word ‘hurt’.

Over the weekend Mr Curtis tweeted his “apologies to Cllr Gillick; ‘hurt’ was the wrong word used in haste.”

(At the last general election Tory MP Shailesh Vara had a 16,677 majority).

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