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Brexit Party candidate Kate Allsop sacked as Merthyr Tydfil adviser

Brexit Party candidate Kate Allsop sacked as Merthyr Tydfil adviser

  • 5 August 2019
Image copyright Brexit Party/Google
Image caption Kate Allsop was one of two special advisers hired to help Merthyr Tydfil council

An ex-mayor hired to help a troubled council has been sacked after being named as a Brexit Party candidate.

Kate Allsop, who served as independent mayor of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, spent less than a week advising Merthyr Tydfil council.

Local government minister Julie James said it would be "inappropriate" for Ms Allsop to continue in the role.

Ms Allsop said she was "absolutely gutted", adding she had not been asked about her political leanings.

She was one of two advisers brought in by the Welsh Government last month after the independent-led council appealed to ministers for help.

A damning Wales Audit Office report said the authority faced financial challenges, service pressures, leadership and governance issues.

Image copyright The Brexit Party
Image caption Kate Allsop was named as a Brexit Party candidate less than a week into her role with Merthyr

On Friday, Ms Allsop was named by Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage as its candidate for Mansfield at the next general election.

She told BBC Wales she was called by a Welsh Government official on Saturday who said her contract to work with Merthyr council was being terminated.

"I'd done a huge amount of the work in just three-and-a-half days," Ms Allsop said.

"To be forced out because I'm standing up for democracy is an absolute travesty.

"Nothing changed in my views and ability and my skillset.

"I'm absolutely gutted - I loved Merthyr, it's a lovely town, I wanted to help the council get back on the right track, improve relationships with members, officers and the public.

"They never asked me if I had any political leanings, and they didn't say when they appointed me it was on the basis that I don't declare any political allegiance."

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The Welsh Government said Ms Allsop had been hired because of her "considerable previous experience as an independent council leader who would be able to work with the range of political interests in Merthyr".

Ms James added: "I am grateful for the work that Kate had already undertaken as part of our support package with the council.

"However, as she has declared her intention to stand as an MP it would be inappropriate for her to continue in her role as independent adviser."