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Candidate blasts selection system after 'party-political Mayoral vote'
A MAYORAL candidate says he feels "sickened and disillusioned" with the way the selection system has become politically motivated.
Cllr Brian Pearce missed out on the role after the name of his mayoral rival, Cllr Khalil Ahmed, was drawn out of a hat after the vote was tied.
The Mayor is supposed to be an apolitical role yet Cllr Simon Parker, leader of the Wycombe Liberal Democrats, admitted he voted for Labour nominee Cllr Ahmed because he ‘felt his group owed them one’ and could not bring himself to back UKIP representative Cllr Pearce.
Cllr Pearce said: "It’s very distasteful; I’m disillusioned and extremely sickened by it - party politics shouldn’t come in to it.
"I sent an email round to everyone to say I would like to be mayor and I would still love to be mayor of this town, I love this town."
Cllr Pearce said he even phoned UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who visits the area this weekend, to ask if he would steer clear of Wycombe next year in the event he was selected as mayor.
He said: "Nigel Farage initially thought it was a gagging order but he respected my request as it wasn’t about trying to make political gains.
"I just want to serve the town, I respect the mayoralty too much to bring politics into it. The mayoralty should not be a political post."
Lib Dem leader Cllr Parker denied any deal was in place but did admit he voted for Labour Cllr Ahmed after they backed Mayor Cllr Trevor Snaith’s charge last year.
He also told the BFP that while he thought Cllr Pearce would make a good mayor he could not back a UKIP member.
Cllr Parker said: "I felt we owed a debt of gratitude to Labour after they helped secure Trevor’s election. I felt we owed them something.
"There’s also the UKIP aspect of it. I appreciate it’s apolitical and I’d have no hesitation voting for Brian as a person, but he’s a UKIP party member and I don’t think that would reflect well on Wycombe.
"It has to be said the notion of non-political voting was lost this year. We need to get back to that next year, we’re all grown ups."
The mayor-to-be Cllr Khalil Ahmed agreed the mayoral vote has become political, saying: "Politics should be left out of it."
Cllr Tony Green said the Conservatives had always voted for the person best suited to the task and believes Labour and the Lib Dems have an agreement in place to alternate the mayoralty between parties.
He said: "Brian is a hard working member of the council and a well known member of the community and I told him last year that I would support him for it if he put himself forward. Party politics is not a consideration."
Mayor Cllr Snaith said he could not comment as the mayor is apolitical.
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