WINDSOR, United Kingdom - The field for leadership of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council (RBWM) has narrowed “to just three serious contenders” according to a senior backbencher. Two have already declared: Richard Kellaway and Simon Dudley, while David Evans has been given permission by his employer to run.
With less than a week until nominations close our source claimed the three are the only ones “seriously” campaigning. Each is said to have spent the bank holiday weekend phoning councillors looking for potential supporters within the 56-strong Conservative group.
On Friday we exclusively revealed the three names as those most likely to win the leadership election, which was triggered when Cllr David Burbage stood down last week. Our list of ‘strong contenders’ also included Deputy Leader, Cllr Phill Bicknell, who has now ruled himself out.
The senior backbencher said: “Lots of cllr’s wanted the leadership but realistically they just aren’t getting the support they need. There are now only three people seriously campaigning to win.
“It's always possible a wildcard candidate could throw in, but with so many councillors having already pledged their support its hard to see how they could catch up.”
None of the three are expected to make any public statements about the proceedings, choosing instead to keep the campaign confined to the Conservative group. The whips are said to be furious that some of the group have been anonymously briefing the media.
The official campaign will last just 32 hours.
Official announcement of the validly nominated candidates is expected at 12pm on Sunday 8th May, then the election itself will take place at around 8pm the day after. The vote will follow a private hustings at the Conservative Group meeting.
Tory councillors will hold as many ballots as it takes for one candidate to receive over half the group’s support, which is 29 out of a possible 56. At each stage in the process the lowest scoring candidate will be eliminated.