The Isle of Wight council now has a new leader

Following the resignation of Island Independent, Jonathan Bacon, earlier in the week, members of the full council tonight voted in a new leader.

Empty chair

The group leader of the Conservative councillors, Dave Stewart, has been elected as the new leader of the Isle of Wight council (see our live coverage of the meeting).

The move follows the resignation of former leader, Island Independent, Jonathan Bacon, who, along with his deputy, Steve Stubbings, said that “in the face of the unwillingness of Government to lift a finger” their positions were “untenable and, perhaps more pertinently, intolerable”.

At tonight’s full council meeting Cllr Stewart received the majority vote with 19 votes against 15 for Cllr Stephens.

What happens next?
Cllr Stewart will now be asked to form his Executive and has stated that he’s been in talks with members from across the chamber, including the Independents.

Wondering what might happen now a leader other than an Island Independent has been elected? OnTheWight sought the answers prior to yesterday’s vote.

Image: joe57spike under CC BY 2.0

Wednesday, 18th January, 2017 7:00pm



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below must comply with the Commenting 'House Rules' and are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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30 Comments on "The Isle of Wight council now has a new leader"

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God help us

sam salt

Couldn’t have put it better myself. A man with a void between his ears. So we won’t really have Dave it will be Chris Whitehouse pulling the strings. I might ring the Pope and ask him to pray for the Island.


Good. The independent group has proved unfit to rule, the latest twist, one of their number wanting to form yet another administration was ludicrous.


Tory are we!


Biased at we?

East Cowes

How about the whole Council pull together for a change, because the fate of the island is more important than what island political clan is in charge? Learn how to lobby correctly, not textbook attempts to talk with people when it is too late and flood them with too large and dense documents.

Mr T

I can’t say I blame the Independents for stepping down.

This Island really is being screwed into the ground by the current Tory government.

Luisa Hillard

The Island Independent group did not “step down”. The Conservatives, UKIP and IMG formed a political alliance to take control of the Council.

the spy

i think bacon and stubbings should now resign now and stand again in May .The member for totland needs to be reported in the monitoring officer .Chapman is a disgrace roll on may and not fit to be a chairman

steve stubbings

“Resign now and stand again in May?” Why?

Rod Manley
So we now basically have a Conservative run council. What will be the budget? Will it be cuts, redundancies? which potentially could bring the Council into conflict with its employees and their unions? Will they stop Trade Union secondment? Will they propose changing the way they deliver services (privatisation or voluntary sector). Will they cut the grant to parishes? Will they pass services over to Town and… Read more »

Any chance of direct rule from Westminster for the next few months?


I thought Council meetings were considered, well thought out and polite affairs. I am appalled by the behaviour of some of the people who are representing wards in this island.I’ve seen primary school pupils in one of their own school council meetings who would put these adults to shame, and some of them were only 5… I’m not surprised now by the mess the Island is in.


Election campaign started want media attention?

Steephill Jack

“He will now be asked to form his Executive”: will Geoff Lumley be included ?
A very sad day for IoW.


Happy days are here again
The skies above are clear again
So let’s sing a song of cheer again
Happy days are here again…

Roll on May

Stewart Blackmore
Of all the meetings I have attended this was by far the worst. To listen to Tory councillors telling downright falsehoods and not being rebuked by the Chair was quite appalling. Cllr Ward went so far as to say that Dave Stewart ‘is not political’. What a farce! The tone was really set about what to expect from the Tories when they voted down Cllr Baker-Smiths amendment… Read more »
East Cowes

Truer words never spoken, Stewart. And add to that John Metcalfe needs to go. He was factually incorrect about Disability and Universal Credit on the island. Extremely bad.

How can even bad Councillors try to make good decisions if the officers advising them are telling false information by officers?

The dark Lord
I will say this was a shambles of a meeting, but very Isle of Wight,with inward looking personal abuse dominating what should have been a serious debate. Stubbings was an anti climatic cry in the dark and Bacon was sadly absent and unable to face the horror of his own group. it is the case that the Isle of Wight Council was hijacked by an emotive cry… Read more »

Have any of these Councillors ever read the Nolan Principals of Public Life? I would recommend they look them up, only one side of A4, even they should manage that…

steve stubbings
I wish Councillor Stewart and his group all the best in pulling together a budget they can live with. I accept that I was not able to do that. The Government’s austerity agenda is a ruthless war on the poor and disadvantaged, and we all need to come together to fight it. Local ‘government’ has been dead for some time. There are few choices left to be… Read more »

Steve, I don’t think that anyone can doubt that efforts that you personally went to, I’m just a bit disappointed that Jonathan Bacon couldn’t bring himself to explore all avenues that might lead to the relief of poverty on the island.

Best of luck for the future Steve. I do hide behind an assumed name for which I have my reasons. I imagine at one time or another I have criticised you but I hope fairly. You have nothing to be ashamed of and you should hold your head high. You have championed the causes of the right and deserving people in the shadow of the most right… Read more »
steve stubbings

Thanks. As far as I can recall, you’ve always been very kind. ;-)
I’m not ashamed, I’m sorry. I really wish I could have done more to protect the vulnerable. I have been criticised for ‘talking the Island down’ but I genuinely fear for them in the current political climate.

steve stubbings
Thank you, Tim. Being on the edges of the Government’s systematic dismantling of the NHS and their wanton indifference to the plight of those relying on the welfare state was deeply damaging to me personally. As far as the fixed link is concerned, it hardly ever came up. We were always too busy fighting the fires immediately in front of us to dream such ambitious dreams. Maybe… Read more »

Steve, I share your concerns.

Unfortunately there are rather too many people that see poverty as an abstract concept rather than a life style that they have had first hand experience of.

I can even recall some twit here on OTW who started going on about Xbox ownership when the poor were mentioned!


Sit Back, relax and enjoy the show.

It’s not long to the elections.

15 weeks of bitching, backbiting and more to come.

Pass the popcorn.


I’d rather be sitting back watching my councillors getting on with the job they were elected to do!

m coakley
I have no political axe to grind but sometimes it feels by this I am defending the indefensible. Is it me or is there a parallel universe operating? Hearing that the police had to be called to a Council meeting where Councillors appeared more akin to ferrets fighting in a sack than responsible elected representatives whilst they were all aware that local and national institutions were crumbling… Read more »
Ali Hayden.
A very sad day for the Isle Of Wight. The victory in May 2013 of a new, fresh administration gave us all hope that things could get better…..and it certainly did. Please do not underestimate the achievements made by the Independents. Improving Schools….which were nearly all in ‘Special Measures’ after the disastrous change from a 3 tier to a 2 tier education system. Safe guarding the Riverside… Read more »