Conservatives in York have called for other Labour figures in the city to consider their positions following the decision of council leader James Alexander to stand down.
Tory councillors were due to press for a motion of no-confidence in Coun Alexander at next month’s full council meeting, but the council leader revealed on Thursday night that he had already taken the decision to stand down and take up a role with the Labour Party nationally.
Coun Chris Steward, the leader of the Conservative group on York Council, said: “I wish he had done it long before, but now we must all work together for the good of York rather than the personal attacks and politics of division which have become synonymous with the outgoing leader.
“There have been too many failings of this administration to list and much of the blame goes wider within the Labour Cabinet and there are others who should also resign.”
The Liberal Democrats also reacted to Coun Alexander’s decision by promising to press for the automatic repayment of all of the fines issued during the trial closure of Lendal Bridge to private vehicles, one of the most contentious policies during his time as council leader.
Coun Keith Aspden, Liberal Democrat group leader in York, said: “Whoever leads the council between now and May it is clear that we need to see a wholesale change of policies including repaying all Lendal Bridge fines and halting plans to close Castlegate and Yearsley Pool.”
He added: “Only by repaying all the fines can we start to repair the deep reputational damage the trial has done to York.”