Latest Public Sector News


Sandwell Council leader steps down ‘kicking and screaming’ after lengthy council infighting

The leader of Sandwell Council has resigned in a move he described as being “knifed in the back” three weeks after he was suspended pending investigation by the Labour Party.

Steve Eling has stood down “kicking and screaming” from the council, according to local MP James Morris, after months of rumours, speculation, and allegations in the authority.

Conservative MP for Halesowen & Rowley Regis Morris said years of “dishing out poisonous quotes, obfuscating and treating people like fools” had caught up with the leader, and stated that his time in office would be remembered as “some of Sandwell Council’s darkest days.”

The MP has long called for Eling’s resignation and condemned the council as a “rotten regime” requiring government intervention in January last year which prompted the outgoing leader to call Morris a “coward.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Steve Eling has finally resigned as Leader of Sandwell Council, literally kicking and screaming. His time in office will be remembered as some of Sandwell Council’s darkest days with a constant cloud of suspicion and cronyism over it. (1/3)</p>&mdash; James Morris (@JamesMorris) <a href="">February 14, 2019</a></blockquote>

<script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Eling was suspended by the Labour Party last month following a complaint, and Labour is understood to be conducting a lengthy investigation – although the reason behind the investigation is not yet known.

This did not signal the end of Eling’s leadership at the council however, with the councillor declaring he would not quit and saying he would “wipe the floor” with Morris for his public shaming of the council.

Eling said he “had made a few enemies... but all my critics can throw at me is personal abuse” and stated that he would put the success of Sandwell Council ahead of internal Labour Party issues.

A number of allegations have been made against councillors in Sandwell which have been reviewed by the ethical standards committee and are due to be dealt with by Labour’s disciplinary procedures.

In September Eling himself was cleared of not breaching the council’s code of conduct after a former council member accused him of conducting a “smear campaign” against him.

In a council meeting earlier this week, Eling said he had been “knifed in the back” by the national party and that there was nothing he could do to contest it.

Deputy leader Syeda Khatun will take over at the council up until 5 March when a formal election will take place.

Steve Trow has also now been chosen to replace Eling as head of the council’s Labour Party, and the outgoing council leader will remain as a councillor.



There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >