Deputy leader of West Northamptonshire Labour group steps down as party now needs to elect new leader and second in command

Emma Roberts will continue as a councillor but not as deputy leader as “family, ward work and other commitments need to be priority”

Thursday, 21st April 2022, 1:24 pm

The deputy and interim leader of West Northamptonshire’s Labour group has announced her decision to step down.

Councillor Emma Roberts will end her time as deputy leader of the party next month, but will continue as a ward councillor for Delapre and Rushmere.

She says the decision comes as “family, my ward work and my other commitments need to be my priority”.

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Councillor Emma Roberts will step down as deputy leader next month.

In recent months, Cllr Roberts has also stepped in as interim leader of the group to cover for former leader, Councillor Gareth Eales.

Now the Labour group will need to elect a new leader and a new deputy leader.

Cllr Roberts, said: “It’s been an honour to be able to lead the group under difficult circumstances.

“I have been given such wonderful support from some, which has enabled me to respond to so many changes and for us as a group to affect change and obtain some small wins for our residents.

“Many from within the group, the wider party and trade union movement have approached me with wonderful wishes of support and a hope that I will stand formally for the leadership post, to those people thank you for your faith in me.

“Now however, is not the right time for me to step into such a role permanently.

“My family, my ward work and my other commitments need to be my priority and my time will be spent fulfilling those duties.

“As such and to ensure I always perform to the best of my ability, I will not be putting myself forward for any position, this time around.

“I wish everyone who does so well, and I will continue to work hard as a Labour councillor in my ward.

“I will continue to fulfil all my duties until the council annual general meeting (AGM).”

A spokesman for the group added: “During her time as deputy and interim leader, the Labour group has managed to win unlikely concessions from a Conservative dominated West Northamptonshire Council.”

Labour’s AGM is on May 5 and the group says there will be a leader elected by then.

The council’s AGM is on May 19 where representatives will confirm elections.