STOP PRESS Fri 1 PM: As you'll see from comments Cllr Gregory Couzens has resigned the Lib Dem whip and joined the humungous independent non-group. Not sure whether the Tories decided to black ball him or he is biding his time. Local opinion is divided on his electoral prospects in May. To be fair the divisions are largely on the margin of his catastrophic minority.
Word is the independent non-group consisting of these seven numpties plus some earlier runaway Lib Dems will be forming a party. Why? So they get support in the Town Hall - on the Council Tax payers of Rochdale - and, very important, so they get a Leader's Allowance - on the Council Tax payers of Rochdale - not to mention committee places as of right!
The way they are going they could become the second group if they pull this off. But will Cllr Gregory No Mates Couzens (right) be able to persuade this riff raff that his egotistical self promotion and silvery scissor skills are what's required?
Rochdale Online's report. Though don't believe a word spoken by either Couzens or Mulgrew. Good to see Labour calling for Couzens' scalp, as it were.
Meanwhile in parliament there has been an exchange between Simon "Slayer" Danczuk, who must take at least some of the credit for the Lib Dems' disarray, and Eric "the Eel" Pickles whose party's general exploitation of this sorry party and ideological attacks on local government and particularly poorer communities is also of course a factor:
At Commons question time, Mr Danczuk told Mr Pickles: "Your failure to stand up for councils in the Comprehensive Spending Review is having a devastating impact on jobs and services in Rochdale.
"Homes provision, community centres, adult care services and much more are being cut.
"The situation is that bad that six Liberal Democrat councillors resigned last week and later the Liberal Democrat council leader stood down.
"Because of these cuts, the local authority is in turmoil. When is the minister going to stand up for local government?"
Lib Dems "Need Lead in Their Pencil" - Pickles
Mr Pickles replied: "I would have thought you would be seeking to congratulate the coalition Government because we recognise that a number of authorities are more dependent on grants than others.
"In particular, we face a very difficult task so far as Rochdale is concerned in having to bridge just short of GBP6 million taken away by the last Labour government from the Working Neighbourhoods Fund and we're certainly seeking to cushion them.
"So my advice to you is go back to Rochdale, put a bit of lead in their pencil and let them get on with protecting the frontline services rather than fighting among themselves."
STOP PRESS Fri 9 AM: According to Rochdale Online Irene Davidson remains leader of the Lib Dem group. They also have Cllr Dale Mulgrew - the ring leader of the coup - offering weasel words:
The Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Councillor Dale Mulgrew said: “The turn of events over the last week have been incredibly difficult for Irene and her options have become more and more limited by the day.
“I think most reasonable and decent people will once more question the motives of the six whilst Irene was in hospital.
“The process of de-selection is not a matter for the leader but for the constituency party executive.”
Councillor Mulgrew concluded: “Irene continues to make a good recovery and it is hoped she will be out of hospital before the weekend.”
What a complete Libocrite this pathetic wee joker is!
Last week we told you all about the mess that is the Rochdale Lib Dem Party. RIGHT HERE. Six Lib Dem councillors had resigned the whip and gone independent. A seventh was sniffing around for a berth with one of the other main parties. All was not well. How could things possibly get worse?
The demon coiffeur Cllr Gregory Couzens had staged a kind of a do, a coup attempt you might say. A letter was prepared demanding Cllr Irene Davidson the leader of the Lib Dems, of their local Condem pact, and of the Council - for just 11 months - should stand down. She is pictured here with former RAP playmate of the month and green grocer Alan Taylor, her predecessor. He's gone now.
A number of the Lib Dem group had signed up, probably thinking that when this feisty prison officer was flat on her back in hospital - a bit crook as they say in Cell Block H - might be a great time to give her a good old fashioned kicking. I'm not going to be revealing the names of the signatories. Not just now. But they know who they are.
But anyway, when their motion was put to the vote they lost. And what's more the resignations started. Word is that Deputy Leader and one of the main rivals for the parliamentary candidacy of Rochdale Dale Mulgrew, more on whom anon, is the Prince of Dumbassness behind the whole thing.
Some of the defecting crew had already I believe defected from Tory to Lib Dem in past lives. Experienced renegades? Or rather perhaps experienced self-preservers.
Today we can reveal more. Cllr Irene Davidson, who was in hospital in the very poorly ward when the coup was attempted having a kidney removed as part of her cancer treatment, has submitted her resignation as
Group, Coalition and Council leader in writing. Basically because her people were defecting and those that were left were scheming against her.
The word on the streets of Deeplish, of Spodden and of Falinge is that this Liberal Democrat strategy in this town is playing out completely according to the plan of the masterminds behind it. That being that they become un-partnerable and lose any part in control of the council, set Labour up to be some part of the ruling arrangement, watch them dealing with incredibly difficult budget decisions, thanks to the ConDems in Westminster, and try to become popular opposing all this as pavement politicians and misery mongers.
A far cry from the Rt Hoon Nick Clegg's assessment of the Lib Dems as a party hungry for and competent in control of councils. They are on the run from responsibility. They want to be in opposition, minimise losses and rebuild; rather than facing such a meltdown next May that they are basically back to the fitting in a single taxi model which applied to the party nationally before Cyril Smith was elected to the House.
Back to Cllr Dale Mulgrew. Born again tosser. Utterly incompetent. Utterly ruthless. Horribly ambitious for a bear of such little brain. Dale's dad of course is Jimmy Cricket the old school Irish comedian with the welly boots, and Dale is constantly pimping dad's wares as agent/manager. Old habits die hard and this chump is organising a comedy council, a comedy councillor group of ever dwindling numbers, and a comedy forward strategy.
One other thing? Cllr Gregory Couzens, one of the few of the Rochdale Lib Dem rat boys who once could make a coherent plan, who once upon a time could string a sentence together, and who could formerly command any real respect from the people of the town, well he's blown it completely.
Possibly trapped by Cllr Dale Mulgrew he collected the signatures of the clowns against their leader, and he both failed to sign the thing himself, and failed to win the day. He's now putting the finishing touches to his application to join the Conservatives. Could be in coalition with Labour within a week.
Dale Mulgrew - the brains behind the Get Irene operation?