Monday 11 May 2015

Kevin Madge loses leadership of Carmarthenshire Labour Group

As predicted, Kevin Madge has been booted out after three years as Labour leader on the County Council in what was described as a very emotional meeting, and replaced by Cllr Jeff Edmunds.

The full council will be asked to elect a new leader when it meets on 20 May, and it is not clear whether Cllr Edmunds will face a challenge from Labour's coalition partners, the Independents.

Rumour has it that Meryl Gravell, in reality the de facto leader of the Independents, is far from happy at the prospect of working with Cllr Edmunds who enjoys the support of Tegwen Devichand and the Llanelli Labour faction.

On a personal note, this blog has long been critical of Kevin Madge's leadership of the council, but those who know him, friend and foe alike, agree that he is a fundamentally decent man, and the loss of office will come as a bitter blow to him.

Whether it was his handling of the various crises and scandals which have rocked the council in the last couple of years that caused his downfall, only Labour insiders will know, but in a report on Newyddion 9 this evening, the BBC noted that with just two years to go before the next council elections, the prospect of going down with Captain Madge at the helm may have had something to do with it.

It's worth noting that Labour in Carmarthenshire is not alone in the bloodletting. With Mandelson, the Milibands and dozens of others slogging it out in Westminster, Labour in Cardiff has booted out its leader, Phil Bale, just a couple of months after backing him in a vote of confidence.

Whatever the truth, we could be in for an interesting couple of weeks on Jail Hill.

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