Outgoing Vale of Glamorgan Council leader John Thomas is considering seceding from the Tories and backing a Labor administration, it has been claimed.
Cllr Thomas is on the verge of relinquishing his grip on power after the Tories elected Vincent Bailey to take control of the party at the local level.
However, sources claim that Cllr Thomas will now “make a Chuka Umunna” and quit his party to form an independent group – along with four other advisers.
And the Local Democracy Reporting Service was told that the rebels would then side with Labor – a move that stunned senior Tories.
However, Cllr Bailey played down the pact’s suggestions – which would also involve cabinet members Jonathan Bird, Hunter Jarvie, Geoff Cox and Andrew Parker.
He said: “John Thomas voluntarily participated in the leadership election, and I find the suggestion that he would now step down to support a Labor administration incredibly unusual.
“They are men of honor, with a lot of experience and a huge role to play in the squad in the future if they want to – but we have to put what happened behind us and move on. “
In the 2017 local election, the Tories retained control of the council after winning 23 seats, compared to Labor’s 14.
However, last month reports revealed that Vale of Glamorgan’s curators told Mr Thomas they no longer wanted him to lead authority following an annual vote at their annual general meeting. – before a leadership challenge is launched.
It is understood that the saga surrounding the transfer of primary school from Llancarfan to Rhoose, described by many as a “closure”, was a major factor behind the Tories’ call for Cllr Thomas to leave.
Since then, two senior members of Vale of Glamorgan’s board cabinet have left the board’s conservative group.
Bob Penrose, a member of the Council for Learning and Culture cabinet, has resigned from the Tories and the governing body of the authority.
And Jonathan Bird, a member of the cabinet for regeneration and planning, also left but remained in the cabinet as an independent.
Labor and Cllr Thomas were both invited to comment.