Rouse quits town hall as work, family and politics take toll
PUBLISHED: 11:41 20 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:08 05 October 2010
THE man widely regarded as the most effective councillor in Tower Hamlets has resigned this morning, paving the way for a second Town Hall by-election on May 1. Simon Rouse, elected in 2004 as the authority's first Tory councillor, says his workload has become too great
EXCLUSIVE by Ted Jeory
THE man widely regarded as the most effective councillor in Tower Hamlets has resigned this morning, paving the way for a second Town Hall by-election on May 1.
Simon Rouse, elected as the Tories' first councillor in Tower Hamlets in 2004, told the Advertiser his workload had become too great.
He became a father for the first time last year, is a senior banker at Barclays and has been forced to spend much time away from East London campaigning in his home town of Nuneaton, where he hopes to be the next MP.
"It was an extremely difficult decision and I've got mixed feelings about it," the Millwall ward councillor said this morning.
"But I promised myself when I became the Parliamentary candidate for Nuneaton that if my workload was going to suffer in Tower Hamlets, then I would not let that happen and do something about it.
"It's now reached the point that being a new dad, my day job and the work in Nuneaton is too much and I've reluctantly felt I've had to leave Tower Hamlets council.
"I've been thinking about this for some time now."
He said that David Snowdon, a former chairman of the Cambridge University Conservative Association who lives in the Isle of Dogs, has been picked as the Tory candidate in the May 1 by-election.
Simon Rouse went from a one-man Tory band to a group of eight councillors During his four years at the Town Hall.
He was leader of the Tory Opposition group until last year when he stood down in favour of Peter Golds.
He regularly dominated council meetings with his powerful debating skills.