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New Mayor of Worcester fending off calls to quit
THE new Mayor of Worcester is already fending off calls to quit - but insists he wants to be "a man of the people".
Councillor Alan Amos, who stunned the council by quitting Labour on Sunday before voting in a Tory administration 48 hours later, told your Worcester News he is "not prepared to get into a slanging match".
The 61-year-old also claimed the public don't want answers over why he switched or any details over his Tory deal - saying they are "sick and tired" of politicians rowing.
Cllr Amos says he is determined to not let the saga overshadow his time as Worcester's first citizen, a role he started yesterday.
"I don't underestimate the frustration the public have with politicians and I'm determined to move on," he said.
"The important thing is that we've got a stable administration and a bright, young enthusiastic mayor and I just want to get on with it now.
"I think the public are saying 'we are fed up of all this, just get on with it', so I'm not prepared to get into a slanging match with anyone.
"I don't think people are interesting in hearing us row, frankly."
He has not yet chosen his charities for the year because his decision to quit Labour came so late.
But he says one will be for the elderly, one a veterans' organisation and the other will benefit Worcester Cathedral.
"It's a real honour to do this and I intend to do my best," he said.
Yesterday he was facing criticism from across the political divide.
Councillor Richard Boorn, who was axed as Labour's cabinet member for finance, said: "I won't be going to his annual civic service on June 22, I'd rather stick pins in my eyes.
"I won't be standing up when he enters the room either. He has denigrated the office of mayor."
Aubrey Tarbuck, who retired as a Conservative councillor last month, said: "I was shocked at what happened - it makes a mockery of the mayor's office.
"He's let down the people he represents, it's a slight on the mayor's role, he shouldn't do it." Councillor Adrian Gregson, the axed former leader, called it "unprincipled" and "disgraceful" while Cllr Roger Berry, who also lost a cabinet seat, said he was "gobsmacked".
"I was absolutely amazed," he said.
Cllr Amos' background is in lecturing - in the 1970s and 80s he was an economics teacher, eventually becoming vice-principal of a college in Hertfordshire.
A Londoner, he became a Conservative councillor on Enfield Borough Council and then a Tory MP between 1987-1992 in Hexham, Northumberland before being de-selected.
More recently he spent a decade solving complaints on behalf of the Local Government Ombudsman and after converting to Labour, was a councillor in Tower Hamlets and now Worcester since 2008.
"I wanted to get away from London because it was becoming so overcrowded and developed," said Cllr Amos.
"I knew Worcester already , I've got family here and it's just beautiful."
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