Ben Bradley says 'I'm going to go for a cup of tea' before defeating no-confidence motion

Nottinghamshire County Council leader Ben Bradley has survived a vote calling for his resignation after a heated debate that saw Tory councillors leave the meeting in protest. The conservative council leader had been accused of "squatting" in County Hall by the Independent Alliance opposition group, which requested an extraordinary meeting of the full council so a motion of no confidence in Councillor Bradley could be discussed on Thursday, May 16.

But before councillors could vote on Cllr Bradley's leadership, which he wants to continue until at least the next council elections in 2025 after losing out in the recent East Midlands Mayoral election, the Tory representatives on the authority left the chamber in protest. There had been rumours that some in his Conservative group wanted to challenge him for the position of leader, but all party members walked out to show their support after Independent Alliance leader councillor Jason Zadrozny made a lengthy statement about why he believed the current leader should step down.

Mr Zadronzy said Cllr Bradley's leadership of the county council, which he has carried out whilst also being Mansfield's MP, had been a "failed experiment". He added: "We are asking a single question today - is Councillor Bradley the best person to lead this council? They have been letting the people of Nottinghamshire down for three years. Let's vote for the change we deserve."

Ben Bradley shook his head and scoffed as Cllr Zadrozny laid into his record, before starting off his response by listing what he saw as the achievements of Nottinghamshire County Council in his time as leader. Cllr Bradley added: "Apparently facts don't have meaning anymore. This is a waste of all our time, this motion is nonsense."

Before standing up to leave with the rest of his ruling group, Cllr Bradley added: "I'm going to go for a cup of tea. In the meantime, I will be in my office."

The Labour group leader also dismissed the motion as a "publicity stunt", explaining she had no faith in any potential Conservative replacement for Bradley. "Yet again we are wasting our time with poor motions that have no relevance to the people of Nottinghamshire," Councillor Kate Foale said.

"This isn't going to change anything, we intend to win at the ballot box. Yet again we are wasting our time with poor motions that have no relevance to the people of Nottinghamshire." Cllr Foale concluded appointing a different Tory council leader was "pointless" and claimed only a vote for Labour in 2025's local elections would lead to change.

Conservative councillors only returned to the chamber to vote in support of Cllr Bradley, defeating the opposition group's motion for him to exit the role by 34 to 13 votes. For the motion calling for Councillor Bradley's resignation to pass, it would have required all opposition councillors and some of his own Conservative councillors to back it - but Labour abstained and no Tory members rebelled against their leader.

Before the motion was struck down, Cllr Zadrozny added: "This council has been in a state of paralysis while it concentrated on a single goal [the East Midlands Mayor]. This is support for the idea that there is one person in the chamber better place to lead the last 25 per cent of this administration, that cares more, than the man who has stood there for his own career."

Cllr Bradley returned later than most of his colleagues, only taking his seat after Cllr Zadrozny had spoken for the second time. Councillors were urged to respect each other a number of times during the meeting, with council members and chair Richard Butler objecting to some of the language used in the chamber.