The man in line to become the first BNP mayor in the country has resigned from his position.
John Cave was serving as deputy mayor of Padiham Town Council this year, but has quit following a row with Labour councillors.
Mr Cave had been due to become the town’s mayor in May and community leaders had expressed fears that the appointment would bring negative publicity on the town. But that scenario will now be averted following Mr Cave’s shock resignation.
Mr Cave said three councillors, Jean Cunningham, Andy Tatchell and John Harbour, were playing politics with the non-political town council, something which they all deny.
The trio represent the Labour group on Burnley Borough Council, but sit as non-political councillors at Padiham Town Council.
Mr Cave wanted to bring in a new rule that could have forced the three of them out. But his motion to create a new standing order was voted out and Mr Cave decided to walk away from the council, and the chance to become mayor, because of what he described as the 'deception' being carried out by the council.
Coun Charlie Briggs, leader of Burnley Borough Council, said: “His reasons for resigning are utterly ridiculous. To suggest that someone with political affiliations can’t stand as a town councillor is just a plain daft. I can’t understand the cheek of it. Is he trying to suggest that he doesn’t have political affiliations? He has tried and failed to be elected as a borough councillor.”
Mr Cave brought his motion before councillors on November 21 but it was voted down 11-2. He wrote his letter of resignation after the vote and it was read to stunned councillors at the town council meeting on Monday.
Mr Cave, who is married to BNP councillor Sharon Wilkinson, said: “We say the council is non-political but we have people on the council who clearly are political.”