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Sitting Tory to fight seat as independent.

LABOUR will not be the only party troubled with a disaffected backbench councillor at the elections in Coventry in May.

Sitting Tory Cllr Joan Griffin has decided to leave the Conservatives and defend her Whoberley seat as an independent.

She fell out with colleagues in the ward when they deselected her in favour of Roger Bailey, a tourist guide better known for dressing up as St George in re-enactments of the legendary slaying of the dragon.

She was said to be "very miffed" at the time and is preparing to do battle with him once again, even at the possible risk of it splitting the Tory vote and letting in a Labour candidate.

Cllr Griffin, aged 63, said: "I have been worried about that, because I have been a Conservative from the year dot. But I don't think I can take responsibility for that... I hope I'll win. I think I've got a good chance."

Her defection comes only days after a similar rumpus in the Labour party, where sitting Labour Cllr Brian Patton, who also failed to be selected as his party's official candidate, is to stand as an independent in Henley ward.

The difference in his case was that he failed to get on his party's citywide list of approved potential candidates, making it impossible for his ward to select him. They did try to, but were prevented from doing so by the wider Labour party.

Cllr Griffin was brought up in Holbrooks and worked in the wages department of Dunlop Aviation before meeting her husband Roger, who ran his own engineering business. She helped in the family business while bringing up their two children and has done a lot of voluntary work.

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QUITTING TORIES... Cllr Joan Griffin.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Mar 27, 2008
Words:292
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