OPPOSITION members will nominate Labour’s Cllr Ian Jones to become mayor — after his own party colleagues turned against him.
The Advertiser revealed last week how the current deputy mayor would not go on to be Rotherham’s next first citizen.
He was deselected by Labour — his party of ten years — apparently over his cross-party work against the Droppingwell rubbish tip.
Now, in another unprecedented move, Rotherham Democratic Party has said it will put forward Cllr Jones at the council’s annual general meeting.
Opposition member Paul Hague said Cllr Jones, with whom he has collaborated on the Droppingwell campaign, deserved his chance to become mayor.
“I found what Labour did to be disgraceful, to be honest,” said Cllr Hague.
“Ian and I have worked very closely on the tip.
“We agreed right from the start that it would be cross-party and there would be no political influences on this.
“That’s been the case ever since with me and Ian.
“For Labour now to have removed Ian from taking his place as the mayor, in the face of the complete refusal by this council to do what it should be doing on Watson’s tip, is utterly deplorable.
“It’s cowardly and they ought to be thoroughly ashamed.”
He added: “The mechanism is there and Rotherham Democratic Party will put forward Ian Jones to be the next mayor of Rotherham.”
The opposition group — formerly Brexit party members — said they would actively campaign for Cllr Jones to become mayor.
Group leader Cllr Allen Cowles said: “It was going to be non-political on the tip but the next thing Labour had the photo in the paper, with the MP and cabinet member, while Paul was excluded from it.
“We have tried hard to work with them, through things like scrutiny, and not have to drag up lots of points at council meetings.
“We don’t always get the answers to judge if they are working in the best interests of the residents of Rotherham.
“You have to accept it sometimes.
“But here, I don’t believe they are acting in the best interests of Rotherham.”
The AGM, when the mayor vote will be held, was set for May 22 but looks likely to be delayed because of coronavirus.
Labour said it would not speculate about who the party would be putting forward before the AGM takes place.