I am always sorry when a colleague chooses to leave the Party and David Sprason did a really good job as Cabinet Lead for Adult Social Care and played his part in the Conservative Group’s successes over his 12 years as a member of the Group.
However, I believe David made three fundamental mistakes.
- It was not the leaking of a letter, which was not itself confidential, which brought about his downfall. It was his decision to give an interview to the Leicester Mercury's political reporter Dan Martin, about his and his wife’s personal habits, which damaged both his and the County Council’s reputation. Frankly, on the local and national stage, the County Council was made to look a laughing stock. That was not about David Sprason being honest. It was about him being stupid and showing a serious lack of judgement from someone who should have known better.
- Secondly, David just refused to accept the (unanimous) decision of his peers when his conduct was investigated and reported to the Conservative Group by the Whips.
- Thirdly, David blamed the Conservative Group when he found that work he had been doing advising other local authorities how to go about their business, for which he was paid an allowance, had stopped. That was not the Conservative Group’s responsibility. David also could not see that his reputation was so damaged that no-one would want him as an adviser.
If David believes defecting to another party will make him feel better, that’s a matter for him. The Conservative Group moves on and it will continue to build upon the successes it has achieved. This includes fighting to ensure that David Sprason's electoral division will remain in Conservative hands in the May 2013 County Council elections.