'Personal reasons' behind switch to Tories says Mike Price

'Personal reasons' behind switch to Tories says Mike Price

'Personal reasons' behind switch to Tories says Mike Price

First published in News Kidderminster Shuttle: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

TWO former Wyre Forest councillor colleagues have become embroiled in an extraordinary row after new Kidderminster Mayor Mike Price defected from the Liberals to the ruling Conservative party.

Wyre Forest district councillor Mr Price, 62, told The Shuttle the move was down to “personal reasons” and had been coming for a “long time”. He denied Liberal Fran Oborski’s claim the decision was down to a Liberal and Independent group leadership row.

It means the council make-up is now Conservative: 16, Labour: 9, Independent Community and Health Concern: 7, UK Independence Party: 5, Independent: 4, Liberal: 1.

The move does not affect the Conservatives and the Liberal and Independent group’s 21-member alliance to run the council’s political administration.

Mr Price, who represents Offmore and Comberton ward, said: “I have been thinking about it for a considerable amount of time. It was not just about the leadership, as it had been coming for a long time. There are personal reasons. Several things have made my mind up and I am quite happy to be part of the Conservative group.”

It comes just two weeks after he was elected mayor and a week after he praised “friends” Mrs Oborski and her late husband Mike Oborski in The Shuttle.

Mrs Oborski, now the council’s sole Liberal, launched a stinging attack on her former colleague, saying she believed he “started sulking” when the Liberal and Independent group leader position went to Independent Helen Dyke instead of him.

“If he thinks that is an appropriate way to behave I pity the people of Kidderminster having him as their mayor,” she said. “Mike Price does not know the meaning of the word friend or loyalty - he sickens me. The Tories are welcome to him if that is the way he wants to behave. I thought he was a trustworthy friend but it turns out he never was.”

Mr Price denied the decision was down to the leadership issue and said the attacks were “Mrs Oborski’s opinion”.

Conservative group leader Marcus Hart said: “I am delighted to welcome him into the Conservative group from the Liberal group.”

He added: “I think he feels the Conservative party offers the best deal for Wyre Forest residents. We had a strong group before and now we have another member and look forward to working with the Liberal and Independent group.”

Mrs Oborski added Mr Price should stand for re-election. Mr Hart and Mr Price, however, said he would be up for election again next May. Mr Hart added: “Politicians across the political divide have switched parties and inevitably they have to stand for re-election and if they are a good councillor they will get re-elected.”

Comments (16)

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8:57am Thu 19 Jun 14

ctamsin says...

He's switched for personal reasons? Can't really understand why a personal reason would change your political standing ...
He's switched for personal reasons? Can't really understand why a personal reason would change your political standing ... ctamsin
  • Score: 12

9:22am Thu 19 Jun 14

Arsiep says...

And then there was one! The Liberal Party will be able to hold meetings in a telephone box now.
And then there was one! The Liberal Party will be able to hold meetings in a telephone box now. Arsiep
  • Score: 12

9:40am Thu 19 Jun 14

emjaypee says...

"Been thinking about it for some time" did he give any thought the electorate who voted him in as a Liberal.
How about thinking a little more Mr Price and giving the voters their say RIGHT NOW by standing down and using the democratic process via a ballot.
Or would that be too personal for you?
"Been thinking about it for some time" did he give any thought the electorate who voted him in as a Liberal. How about thinking a little more Mr Price and giving the voters their say RIGHT NOW by standing down and using the democratic process via a ballot. Or would that be too personal for you? emjaypee
  • Score: 10

10:08am Thu 19 Jun 14

thatshowitis says...

emjaypee is right .Mike Price should stand down and stand again in a by election as a Tory, the election costs being paid for by the Tories. The residents of Comberton and Offmore who voted for him to represent them as part of Fran's team must be gutted. this 'crossing the floor' must stop. If a councillor falls out with his party members/leaders he should either stick it out until the next election, leave the group but stay as a independent party member or force a by election. Mike, you should be ashamed of yourself.
emjaypee is right .Mike Price should stand down and stand again in a by election as a Tory, the election costs being paid for by the Tories. The residents of Comberton and Offmore who voted for him to represent them as part of Fran's team must be gutted. this 'crossing the floor' must stop. If a councillor falls out with his party members/leaders he should either stick it out until the next election, leave the group but stay as a independent party member or force a by election. Mike, you should be ashamed of yourself. thatshowitis
  • Score: 17

11:56am Thu 19 Jun 14

the batshake says...

Assuming he is telling the truth, if his decision was made 'some time ago' would it not have been fair for him to have told the people who voted for him last month what his plans were at the time he was campaigning for their support? Whatever his ' personal reasons' are is irrelevant, he is supposed to represent the electorate who put him in this position as a liberal not a tory, thats what they votd for. This whole story seems to me to be one of personal ambition and spite rather than being a good councillor and giving the people what they want and deserve.
Assuming he is telling the truth, if his decision was made 'some time ago' would it not have been fair for him to have told the people who voted for him last month what his plans were at the time he was campaigning for their support? Whatever his ' personal reasons' are is irrelevant, he is supposed to represent the electorate who put him in this position as a liberal not a tory, thats what they votd for. This whole story seems to me to be one of personal ambition and spite rather than being a good councillor and giving the people what they want and deserve. the batshake
  • Score: 17

12:23pm Thu 19 Jun 14

BewdleyBugle says...

"Personal reasons" sounds like a very poor attempt to avoid explaining his real reasons in any more detail. On second thoughts, a desire to pursue one's own political career could be described as a 'personal reason'.

Given the significant differences in policy between the Liberals and Conservatives, that simply is not an acceptable answer for the people who voted for him and put their trust in him.
"Personal reasons" sounds like a very poor attempt to avoid explaining his real reasons in any more detail. On second thoughts, a desire to pursue one's own political career could be described as a 'personal reason'. Given the significant differences in policy between the Liberals and Conservatives, that simply is not an acceptable answer for the people who voted for him and put their trust in him. BewdleyBugle
  • Score: 14

12:43pm Thu 19 Jun 14

BewdleyBugle says...

I've just realised that this is probably all about the proposed boundary changes. Price has no doubt done a deal with the Tories to allow him a clear run at one of the new wards next year. With the number of seats being cut, he might otherwise have lost his Liberal candidacy to one of the other councillors who, until very recently, he could count among his friends.

Careerism - you can't get more personal than that!
I've just realised that this is probably all about the proposed boundary changes. Price has no doubt done a deal with the Tories to allow him a clear run at one of the new wards next year. With the number of seats being cut, he might otherwise have lost his Liberal candidacy to one of the other councillors who, until very recently, he could count among his friends. Careerism - you can't get more personal than that! BewdleyBugle
  • Score: 12

2:33pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Bcfc1186 says...

Do you think Oborski will get the hint now?
Do you think Oborski will get the hint now? Bcfc1186
  • Score: 2

4:31pm Thu 19 Jun 14

willowswyre says...

I think it's disgraceful. Stand down Mr Price and let see if you get voted back in .He obviously doesn't have morals as he said how much he respected Fran and Mike and now he stabs her in the back.
I think it's disgraceful. Stand down Mr Price and let see if you get voted back in .He obviously doesn't have morals as he said how much he respected Fran and Mike and now he stabs her in the back. willowswyre
  • Score: 13

6:17pm Thu 19 Jun 14

jon cooper says...

I've always found the relationship between the Wyre Forest Conservatives and Liberals a curious one ... On the one hand the Liberal's will lambaste the Conservatives governance, (particularly in their election flyers); then on the other, find it in their hearts to vote with the Conservatives on pretty much every controversial decision that has blighted Wyre Forest in recent years. Now, we have a grand coalition of Conservatives, Liberals (now Liberal) and Independents ... Independents that include former Conservatives and Lib Dems. It's a grand-coalition that has ALWAYS existed locally, in all but name !!

The defections of two prominent former Liberal's (Councillor Price included) shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone - i'm only surprised that more of our so called liberal minded representatives haven't followed suit previously ... It's a long time until next May, so anything can happen ;-)
I've always found the relationship between the Wyre Forest Conservatives and Liberals a curious one ... On the one hand the Liberal's will lambaste the Conservatives governance, (particularly in their election flyers); then on the other, find it in their hearts to vote with the Conservatives on pretty much every controversial decision that has blighted Wyre Forest in recent years. Now, we have a grand coalition of Conservatives, Liberals (now Liberal) and Independents ... Independents that include former Conservatives and Lib Dems. It's a grand-coalition that has ALWAYS existed locally, in all but name !! The defections of two prominent former Liberal's (Councillor Price included) shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone - i'm only surprised that more of our so called liberal minded representatives haven't followed suit previously ... It's a long time until next May, so anything can happen ;-) jon cooper
  • Score: 1

10:49pm Thu 19 Jun 14

sonofbaldwin says...

What strikes me as interesting is the tone of the comments on this forum when a local politician 'swops sides'.
Welcoming and sympathetic when migrating to a socialist stance and a distinctly polarised opposite when the other way round ( as in this case).

I wonder why?
What strikes me as interesting is the tone of the comments on this forum when a local politician 'swops sides'. Welcoming and sympathetic when migrating to a socialist stance and a distinctly polarised opposite when the other way round ( as in this case). I wonder why? sonofbaldwin
  • Score: -21

12:22am Fri 20 Jun 14

walkerno5 says...

"migrating to a socialist stance"

That hasn't happened or been possible within the mainstream for about 20 years, you have a longer memory than the internets.
"migrating to a socialist stance" That hasn't happened or been possible within the mainstream for about 20 years, you have a longer memory than the internets. walkerno5
  • Score: 11

12:01pm Fri 20 Jun 14

BewdleyBugle says...

sonofbaldwin wrote:
What strikes me as interesting is the tone of the comments on this forum when a local politician 'swops sides'.
Welcoming and sympathetic when migrating to a socialist stance and a distinctly polarised opposite when the other way round ( as in this case).

I wonder why?
I'd be grateful if you could direct me to the articles and comments where someone has switched to the 'socialists'. I can't find any on the Shuttle website. It would help to establish whether this is indeed the case, or whether you're just making it up.
[quote][p][bold]sonofbaldwin[/bold] wrote: What strikes me as interesting is the tone of the comments on this forum when a local politician 'swops sides'. Welcoming and sympathetic when migrating to a socialist stance and a distinctly polarised opposite when the other way round ( as in this case). I wonder why?[/p][/quote]I'd be grateful if you could direct me to the articles and comments where someone has switched to the 'socialists'. I can't find any on the Shuttle website. It would help to establish whether this is indeed the case, or whether you're just making it up. BewdleyBugle
  • Score: 12

1:32pm Fri 20 Jun 14

jflawson says...

I am intrigued by Mikes comments about personal reasons. I stood in Sutton Park for another party. Mike as an agent Dave Hollyoak ran an excellent campaign under the Liberal banner and almost defeated John Campion.
I spoke to them on Polling Day at the Greatfield Road Polling Station and they were proud of their efforts. Mike has crossed floor and I now understand Dave has joined UKIP.I would like to also comment about Mike Wrench commenting about UKIP councillor's being approachable , I as a member of the public attended wednesday,s council meeting as I am a Rock Parish Council Member I always introduce myself to any councillor of any party. I tried to engage in conversation with the UKIP councillor for Franche who gave me the impression that I was something stuck to the bottom of his foot not impressed
I am intrigued by Mikes comments about personal reasons. I stood in Sutton Park for another party. Mike as an agent Dave Hollyoak ran an excellent campaign under the Liberal banner and almost defeated John Campion. I spoke to them on Polling Day at the Greatfield Road Polling Station and they were proud of their efforts. Mike has crossed floor and I now understand Dave has joined UKIP.I would like to also comment about Mike Wrench commenting about UKIP councillor's being approachable , I as a member of the public attended wednesday,s council meeting as I am a Rock Parish Council Member I always introduce myself to any councillor of any party. I tried to engage in conversation with the UKIP councillor for Franche who gave me the impression that I was something stuck to the bottom of his foot not impressed jflawson
  • Score: 4

11:46am Sat 21 Jun 14

davewal says...

The toys used to be in the pram. They are now strewn across the floor.
The toys used to be in the pram. They are now strewn across the floor. davewal
  • Score: 2

5:17pm Mon 23 Jun 14

walkerno5 says...

And the toys are basically our money in this case.
And the toys are basically our money in this case. walkerno5
  • Score: 0

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