23rd May, 2019

Long-serving Coventry councillor and ex-mayor Skipper to retire, blaming 'nonsense of internal party politics'

Les Reid 27th Sep, 2018 Updated: 27th Sep, 2018

A LONG-SERVING Coventry councillor and recent Lord Mayor says he is standing down rather than dealing with the ‘nonsense of internal party politics’, we can reveal.

Councillor Tony Skipper will not stand for re-election in his Radford ward next year.

He has been replaced as Labour’s candidate by Maya Ali, a former Conservative.

Coun Skipper, a popular Lord Mayor last year with his love of music and whose mayoralty coincided with Coventry landing the UK City of Culture 2021 award, scotched rumours he was deselected.

But he took a swipe at ‘internal party politics’ in explaining matters with the Observer.

After serving as a councillor for more than 20 years, he told us he has decided to retire to “pursue other personal priorities”.

He said: “Frankly, the motivation needed to deal with the routine nonsense of internal party politics has gone and it is time to stand down – I have better things to do.

“I have artistic, family and business projects that have a priority call on my time.

“However, I will still be a councillor until May next year and during this time I shall remain loyal to the Labour group and the Radford residents who elected me.

“Anyone with an interest in live music and real ale will certainly continue to see me about.”

Coun Skipper has held several cabinet posts since he became the first Labour candidate to win Earlsdon ward in 1995.

He has won five elections for Labour in Radford, which is also represented by Labour councillors Mal Mutton and Pat Hetherton.

He has also for many years been a business lecturer at Coventry University.

City solicitor Maya Ali defected from the Tories to Labour and was elected to the Coventry City Council in 2012.

She served for four years until losing in Westwood two years ago.

Her selection as Labour candidate for Radford for next year’s council elections came at a recent ward meeting, which Coun Skipper told us he did not attend.

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