Leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Cllr Simon Dudley, has survived the first attempt to remove him from his post in the light of controversial comments he made about the homeless. 

A motion of no confidence against him failed to get passed at a meeting of his Conservative colleagues last night, Monday.

The Observer has learnt unofficially that only seven councillors voted in favour of the motion to oust him - way short of the 26 needed to pass it. 

Resignation shock

Two Tory councillors have stepped down as a result of the lost vote and will instead continue to serve as independent Conservatives on the council. 

Cllr Asghar Majeed (Oldfield) and Cllr Paul Brimacombe (Cox Green) said they would not be amongst those "offering support" to Cllr Dudley after he survived the vote.

In a joint statement they said:  "Cllr Dudley informed the media last night that he had won the no-confidence vote within the Conservative Group at RBWM. 

"The democratic will of the Conservative Group should be respected and it is to be anticipated that council will hear fulsome support for Cllr Dudley’s leadership on the 29th January from fellow Conservative Councillors.

"This is to inform you that Cllr Asghar Majeed and Cllr Paul Brimacombe will not be amongst those offering that support.  Immediately following the announcement of the result of the no-confidence vote, Cllr Majeed and Cllr Brimacombe resigned from the Conservative Group and departed the meeting.  

"It was not considered appropriate by them to wholeheartedly disagree with the will of Group on this fundamental issue and yet to remain within the Group.

"With the departure of the last of the few dissenting voices within the Conservative Group possibly an even more cohesive and purposeful Conservative Group will emerge. 

"Cllrs Majeed and Brimacombe will continue to represent the residents of Oldfield and Cox Green respectively as Independent Conservative Councillors, with the same core values upon which they were elected."

Cllr Majeed told The Observer that he was unsure of whether he would run at the next general election in 2019 to keep his seat. But he said in the interim he would continue to work hard for residents.  

Get on with the job

Cllr Dudley reportedly told ITV news last night that he now wanted to "get on with the job" and "help society’s most vulnerable".  

However Cllr Dudley will still face a vote of no confidence put forward by opposition members at a public meeting next Monday, January 29.

The motion came after Cllr Dudley made controversial comments about rough sleepers and beggars in Windsor in the light of the royal wedding announcement earlier this month. He claimed not all of them were genuine and branded some of the conduct "antisocial behaviour", saying tourists were being escorted to cash points at times.