THE former Tendring Council leader has set light to a copy of the council’s constitution on the steps of Clacton Town Hall in protest at a ruling last week by Tory chairman Nick Turner.

Clacton First councillor David Lines burned the document to show his anger at Mr Turner’s decision to close an emergency meeting after 150 seconds, thwarting opposition councillors’ bid to control the council.

The Tendring First-led opposition briefly had the narrowest of majorities, following the death of Tory Charlie Sambridge in July. It called the meeting ahead of tomorrow’s by-election.The opposition move was blocked because Mr Turner refused to allow any discussion at the meeting last week, then closed it.

Mr Lines has called for Mr Turner to resign. He said: “Burning it seems a better use for our copies of the constitution, now the chairman appears to be making it up as he goes along. A Conservative boot is firmly planted on the throat of democracy in Tendring.”

Tory council leader Neil Stock described the burning as “childish and hypocritical”.

He added: “Mr Turner followed the constitution to the letter and was within his rights to do what he did for the good governance of the council.”