Windsor Council leader Simon Dudley (file image) faces a vote of no confidence tonight
A Conservative council leader who suggested rough sleepers in Windsor be moved on ahead of the royal wedding faces a vote of no confidence tonight.
Every councillor in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has been summoned to a meeting to debate a motion of no confidence in Simon Dudley.
The Tory councillor survived a no confidence vote within the Conservative bloc last week but the decision prompted two councillors to quit group.
The Conservatives hold 54 of 57 seats on the council.
Mr Dudley triggered the row when he said beggars could present the town in a ‘sadly unfavourable light’ when Prince Harry marries American actress Meghan Markle in May.
In a letter to police, he complained about ‘aggressive begging and intimidation’, and ‘bags and detritus’ on the streets.
He said police should use their powers under the 1824 Vagrancy Act and the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to ‘protect residents and tourists’.
Mr Dudley later apologised for his comments and said he was not referring to genuine homeless people, and that he regretted referring to Harry and Ms Markle’s wedding at the time.
A petition to stop rough sleepers being taken off the streets has attracted more than 270,000 signatures.
Mr Dudley triggered outrage when he suggested beggars should be cleared from Windsor before Prince Harry ties the knot with Meghan Markle in May (pictured is a person sleeping on the streets of Windsor on Sunday)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (pictured last week in Cardiff) are to marry in Windsor on May 19 following the announcement of their engagement last year
The motion that will be voted on, which was proposed by former Tory councillor Claire Stretton, reads: ‘To pass a Motion of No Confidence in the Leader of the Council following events during the week commencing 1/1/18, instigated by statements on Twitter and a letter to the Police & Crime Commissioner by Cllr Simon Dudley, that have brought the council and councillors into disrepute.’
The full council will meet from 7.30pm at the Town Hall in Maidenhead.
Following last week’s internal Tory vote Paul Brimacombe and Asghar Majeed condemned their group leader and resigned.
Paul Brimacombe (left) and Asghar Majeed (right) resigned from the Conservative group over Mr Dudley’s remarks and will now sit as independent Tories
In a joint statement the two councillors said: ‘Immediately following the announcement of the result of the no-confidence vote, Councillor Majeed and Councillor Brimacombe resigned from the Conservative group and departed the meeting.
‘It was not considered appropriate by them to wholeheartedly disagree with the will of the group on this fundamental issue and yet to remain within the group.
‘With the departure of the last of the few dissenting voices within the Conservative group, possibly an even more cohesive and purposeful Conservative group will emerge.
‘Councillors Majeed and Brimacombe will continue to represent the residents of Oldfield and Cox Green respectively as independent Conservative councillors, with the same core values upon which they were elected.’