Haverhill councillor Paula Fox resigns from the Conservative party to become an Independent
The decision by the West Suffolk Conservative group not to select a Haverhill councillor to stand for this summer’s elections and a family bereavement have acted as the main triggers for her to leave the party and become an Independent.
Paula Fox had been the Conservative member for Haverhill Cangle on Suffolk County Council since May 2017.
Since May 2015 she has also represented Haverhill South on the town council, the same ward she represents on St Edmundsbury Council.
However, on February 12 that all changed when Mrs Fox resigned from the Tory party to become an Independent on all three councils.
She explained her reasons for doing so: “It was several things. I wasn’t happy at not being selected (to stand for the town and borough elections in May).
“I wasn’t allowed another interview under the new Conservative rules. Then my dad died last month.
“He wanted me to stand, when they deselected me last November, as an Independent, so after his funeral I was ‘okay, I’m going to do this.’
“Forty years ago the same thing happened to my dad in the Conservative Party, that was down in Bournemouth, and he became an Independent as well.
“I kept saying to dad ‘I will think about it,’ I wasn’t even going to stand but with him going that was it.”
Pauls’s husband Quillon is also a Conservative town and county councillor, and continues to be so, although when they both attended their first full county council meeting two days after she switched to being an Independent she admitted ‘it did feel a bit strange.’
Mrs Fox added: “People kept saying to me you need to stand as an Independent and i had other colleagues saying to me, stand as an Independent.
“You are being judged on what you do for the town and for the people rather than what you do for the party.”
Cllr Andrew Stringer, the Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent Group leader at Suffolk County Council said: “The Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent Group is really excited by this move.
"We truly value and encourage independent thought, a commodity sometimes lacking in the usual day to day life of politics in Suffolk.
"As an independent councillor Paula will be a great asset to both our group and, more importantly, to the council as a whole.”