Re-elected Hartlepool councillor who admitted assault resigns from Conservative Party

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A Hartlepool councillor who pleaded guilty to assault will continue as an independent after resigning from the Conservative Party.

Councillor Gordon Cranney was re-elected to the Seaton ward earlier this month - just a week after he pleaded guilty to assault by beating against a woman at Teesside Magistrates Court.

He was suspended by the Conservative Party and there have been calls on him to resign.

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Despite announcing on Facebook over the weekend that he was standing down, Councillor Cranney later withdrew his statement, saying the decision was “premature”.

Cllr Gordon Cranney has resigned from the Conservative Party.Cllr Gordon Cranney has resigned from the Conservative Party.
Cllr Gordon Cranney has resigned from the Conservative Party.

Hartlepool Borough Council has confirmed that he is now an independent councillor.

Confirming that Councillor Cranney resigned from the Conservative Party on Wednesday, Hartlepool Conservatives president Ray Martin-Wells said: “We are disappointed that Councillor Cranney has decided to stay on as an independent councillor without the mandate from the electorate.

"We would still encourage him to resign and seek a fresh mandate from the electorate in a by-election if he wants to stay as an independent because he received over 900 votes, people thinking they were voting for a Conservative, not an independent.

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"I am getting a lot of feedback from the public, very puzzled as to why he can still stay there and it is a confusing situation, but, of course, we have no persuasion over Councillor Cranney and there’s nothing that anybody could do.

"The only person that could put this right is Councillor Cranney himself and we would urge him to resign, fight in a by-election if he wants to stand as an independent, get the mandate from the public to still represent them.”

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Hartlepool Borough Council 2022 local election results in full

Councillor Cranney told the Mail on Friday that he needed time to think about his next decision.

He has still to comment on his decision to become an independent councillor.

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Denise McGuckin, the council’s managing director, said: “We have received confirmation that Gordon Cranney is now an independent councillor.

“At present, a person is only disqualified if they have – within five years before the day of election or since their election – been convicted in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man of any offence and has had passed on them a sentence of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) for a period of not less than three months without the option of a fine.”