ONE of Worcester's longest serving politicians says she is "absolutely horrified" by the new Mayor of Worcester's antics - and told your Worcester News she is "ashamed" of the city council.

Councillor Liz Smith, Worcester's lone Liberal Democrat, says Councillor Alan Amos has let down the rest of the city's politicians.

The veteran's criticism, who was first elected in 1989, comes as more details emerged yesterday over how he left Labour and voted a new Tory administration into power.

It comes as Cllr Amos refused to talk about the saga yesterday, accusing his critics of "manufactured outrage".

Cllr Smith said: "For the first time since I was elected 24 years ago I'm ashamed of the council - I can't feel any pride in being here.

"He's done this at a time when politicians are not held in great respect by some of the public, yet despite that on the whole most of them give up a lot of time, energy and privacy to serve the public.

"You can see why the people out there are disillusioned, it's almost like the mayoralty is for sale.

"If Alan wants to switch sides he's entitled to do it, but one has a suspicion it was done in a fit of peak rather than a considered decision.

"But I was absolutely horrified - rather than use it to side with a new administration it seems he's used it to grab the mayoralty."

Cllr Amos told your Worcester News people have "lost interest" in the saga and "don't care".

"I'm the Mayor of Worcester and I'm not going to respond," he said.

"These are old arguments and I'm conscious of the dignity of the office.

"The council changed hands last year when there was no elections. I do think there's a sense of manufactured outrage.

"I'm an independent mayor and want to get on with it."

Councillor Smith, who represents Claines, was willing to back the Labour group's bid to stay in control.

But on Tuesday, her vote became irrelevant after Cllr Amos voted with the 17-strong Conservative group to allow them to take over.


MP Robin Walker has defended Councillor Alan Amos - but admits he doesn't want to encourage other politicians to do the same.

The Conservative MP also told your Worcester News he feels sorry for Councillor Paul Denham, who was in line to be the new mayor until the shock coup.

"I know Alan in the past has been unhappy with some of the Labour decisions," he said.

"It's a difficult situation and councillors, just like MPs have to decide whether they are happy in a party.

"While I certainly won't be encouraging it, we've seen before with people like Marc Bayliss, Jabba Riaz and Pam Clayton how people can and do swap sides.

"In many ways it's no different to Jabba Riaz.

"For the public to call foul, fair enough people are entitled to criticise him, but for Labour to do so I think is rank hypocrisy.

"I do feel sorry for Paul Denham. But then these circumstances do occur, I could not be an MP in a year's time."