Exclusive: THE LEADER of Harlow Council has stepped down from his role as leader of the council.
The Labour leader made the shock announcement on Thursday morning (January 11th).
There has been rumblings for a number of weeks that there has been tensions within the Labour group.
Some of these tensions have been played out in closed meetings and some on social media.
Since taking over in 2014, cllr Clempner has been praised by many for his deft handling of a number of controversial issues such as the unlawful traveller encampments and the street lights being switched off at night.
Cllr Clempner has also been at the centre of a whole host of economic initiatives designed to put Harlow at the heart of the regeneration agenda for the area.
Cllr Clempner represents the ward of Little Parndon and Hare Street. He last fought the seat in 2016 and won with a majority of 529.
There may be a by-election or they may wait until May 3rd, 2018.
Brian Keane, Harlow Council’s Acting Managing Director said: “Councillor Jon Clempner has this morning informed me that he has resigned as both the Leader of Harlow Council and a Councillor with immediate effect. I would like to place on record my thanks to Jon for his service to both this Council and to Harlow while he has been the Leader and a Councillor.
“Having been informed of this decision a new Leader of Harlow Council will be appointed at the next scheduled Council meeting on 1 February 2018. The Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Emma Toal, will chair the next meeting of Cabinet on 25 January 2018.
“A notice of vacancy for Councillor for the Little Parndon & Hare Street Ward will be published on the Council’s website in due course.”
Harlow MP Robert Halfon has gone onto Twitter to pay a political tribute to Jon Clempner. Mr Halfon said: “Whatever my political differences with Jon Clempner, I’ve huge respect for his work and love for Harlow as well as being so supportive on getting big government projects such as the Harlow Enterprise Zone, Public Health England and Junction 7a of the M11.”
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