A TOWN'S leadership battle came to a head last night with the resignation of Slough Borough Council's leader.

Through an emotional speech cllr Rob Anderson resigned from his post as leader of the council - one he has held for 11 years - during an extraordinary meeting in The Centre, Farnham Road, Slough, last night. 

During his departure speech cllr Anderson said: "Bank the good days because worse are always to come, always bank what you believe in. Your beliefs are your shield not your sword."

Members of the cabinet then resigned, including cllr James Swindlehurst - now former deputy, cllr Martin Carter, cllr Pavitar Mann and Slough's longest serving councillor, Satpal Parmar.

A controversial move came following these resignations as those mentioned left the meeting, along with other Labour councillors, before a vote was cast on the nomination of cllr Sohail Munawar as leader of the council. 

The departure was met with heckling from councillors and members of the public with shouts of "shame" aimed at them.

Cllr Munawar was appointed leader of the council with 26 votes for, two against and one abstention.

In recognition of his success he said: "This country gave me everything, it's a great honour for me. I might not be a great speaker but I can promise you I love this country and I love this place."

The meeting took place following a motion calling for cllr Anderson to step down as leader due to allegations he failed to protect vulnerable children and has not acknowledged accountability for the issue; he has adopted an authoritarian control; and he fails to represent the majority of the ruling party on policy matters.

Slough Conservative Party have released a statement on the change in leadership.

It said: "Five years after Slough’s first of three failed Ofsted report, we are satisfied that cllr Rob Anderson and cllr Pavitar Mann have been held to account for their failures.

"The Slough Conservatives have been demanding their resignations for five long years and are disappointed both cllr Anderson and cllr Mann did not have the decency to step down after the third failed Ofsted inspection in 2015.

"We are also disappointed that Labour councillors failed to support past Conservative motions in asking for cllr Anderson and cllr Mann to take responsibility for their failed leadership and step down.

"Despite the self-serving nature of the Labour motion, we are content that cllr Anderson and cllr Mann have been held responsible for failing the most vulnerable people in our town.

"Cllr Munawar has promised a more inclusive politics which we clearly welcome and support. He must learn from the past mistakes of cllr Anderson and Swindlehurst and put Slough’s interest before their own.

"Cllr Anderson and cllr Swindlehurst have left a legacy of mistrust and failure and cllr Munawar and his new cabinet need to act quickly in fixing their many failures.

"We will be watching the new administration very closely over the coming months and holding them to account at every turn."