Monday 14 October 2019

Politician 'disowns' daughter after she unseats him in election

Clare Pritchard and her father and former Independent county councillor for Accrington North Malcolm Pritchard
Clare Pritchard and her father and former Independent county councillor for Accrington North Malcolm Pritchard

Jennifer O'Mahony

A FORMER mayor who was unseated by his daughter in a council election has launched a tirade against her for "dishonouring" him, saying he no longer considers her a member of his family.

Malcolm Pritchard, who was Independent county councillor for Accrington North, lost his seat to his daughter Clare, who stood for Labour in recent Lancashire County Council elections.

Mr Pritchard said she had "dishonoured" the family by standing against him.

He said: "I wasn't disappointed with the result, I was disappointed with Clare and what she has done.

"She has broken one of the 10 commandments by dishonouring her mother and father.

"She has put politics before family.

"She could have stood anywhere else with our 100 per cent support.

"She was used as a pawn against me. At least I have got my wife, my son and my mates. Clare has lost her mum and dad for what she's done.

"As far as I'm concerned she doesn't exist anymore and that takes a lot of saying."

Before his defeat, Mr Pritchard had appeared relaxed about the challenge from his daughter. Days before the vote, he told the BBC: "No matter what happens, my daughter will always be my daughter and my feelings will always be the same."

His daughter, meanwhile, had insisted prior to the race: "My dad will still be my dad after the election. It's not an issue. It's not personal - it's political."

New county councillor Clare Pritchard took the seat by more than 200 votes on a day of gains for the Labour group.

The councillor, who is also deputy leader of Hyndburn Council, was first elected as Milnshaw ward councillor at the 2006 borough council elections and retained the seat in 2010.

She said: "I'm very pleased that I have won my county council seat."

Her father lost his Milnshaw seat on Hyndburn council in 2011 to Labour rival Paul Cox, just after completing his year of office as Mayor.

He represented the Milnshaw ward in Accrington from 2002 as a Labour councillor before quitting the party to become an Independent in 2007.

At the time he cited differences with the former group leader Graham Jones as the main reason for his decision.

He said: "Two years ago I was absolutely devastated to lose my borough seat but this time I'm not bothered."

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