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Cllr George Perfect replaces Cllr Elizbeth Turpin as Medway Conservative deputy opposition leader

A new councillor has taken up the position of deputy opposition leader.

Cllr George Perfect will replace Cllr Elizabeth Turpin after she resigned from the group last month.

Cllr George Perfect is the new Conservative deputy opposition leader at Medway Council
Cllr George Perfect is the new Conservative deputy opposition leader at Medway Council

It was announced on Monday the 23-year-old councillor was elected unopposed.

This follows the surprise resignation of Cllr Elizabeth Turpin from the role and from the Medway Conservative Group as a whole on the day of the council’s budget meeting at the end of February.

She now sits as an independent, citing disagreements with colleagues about the direction of the group and a refusal to accept mistakes as the reason behind the decision.

Cllr Perfect says he’s pleased the group was united and said he had been performing many elements of the deputy role already.

He said: “The group was very united. It's quite unusual in recent years for us not to have lots of people applying for the position, but everybody was very united.

“The role of deputy is principally to support the leader and I've been doing a number of things for a few months, particularly our external affairs work, our relationship within the party and with other people around the country.

“The other priority will be working on our policy-focused agenda as we move forward, in terms of monitoring the Cabinet and our response to policy coming forward.”

First elected in May 2023, Cllr Perfect has been involved with Medway politics for many years, first as a member of the youth council, and served as chair of the board of governors for Balfour Junior School between May 2020 and July 2023.

Cllr Elizabeth Turpin resigned from the role due to “disagreements with colleagues”. Picture: Medway Council
Cllr Elizabeth Turpin resigned from the role due to “disagreements with colleagues”. Picture: Medway Council

He is also the opposition group’s spokesperson for children, young people, and education.

When asked if he was considering a bid for leadership of the group, since current leader Cllr Adrian Gulvin is stepping down after Easter, he said he was undecided and was looking at who else might put themselves forward.

He said: “We've got a number of people who may be interested [in the leadership] within the front bench.

“Once Easter's out the way, we'll start having those proper conversations and we'll see, but I haven't yet decided if I'm going to run or not.

“At the moment, the focus has been on becoming the deputy.”

Cllr Gulvin welcomed Cllr Perfect’s election, saying: “George has worked tirelessly over the past 11 months in his role as our spokesperson for children’s services and I know will bring that same commitment and drive to his new role.

“I am looking forward to continuing to work with him.”

At the council's cabinet meeting last night (March 12), council leader Vince Maple (Lab) said: "I congratulate the new deputy leader of the opposition.

"I hope he remains deputy leader of the opposition for a very very long time."

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