Defeated Tory hits out at ‘toxic brand’ and says ‘James Palmer had it coming’  

Cllr Tim Wotherspoon in Cottenham a week ago with police and crime commissioner Darryl Preston (left

Tim Wotherspoon in Cottenham a week ago with Tory police and crime commissioner candidate Darryl Preston (left). They met local residents to discuss recent concerns over policing in the village. - Credit: Buzz Associates Limited

‘Grit in the oyster’ defeated Tory hits out at ‘toxic brand’ and says ‘James Palmer had it coming’  

Defeated Conservative county councillor Tim Wotherspoon says he’s sorry the party’s brand “is so toxic around here”, adding that “James Palmer had it coming”. 

Mr Wotherspoon lost his Cottenham and Willingham seat last Thursday, three years after losing his seat on South Cambridgeshire District Council. 

“I am sorry that the Conservative brand is so toxic around here right now, though I can well understand why,” he wrote. 

“Something is seriously wrong with the Conservative Party if it cannot even gain a foothold in a city like Cambridge.” 

Mr Wotherspoon added: “James Palmer had it coming. You may have noticed that he did not feature in any of my leaflets.” 

And in a nod to the success of Labour in the Cambridge City election and to Dr Nik Johnson as Labour Mayor, he said: “I am thrilled that the same party has both the City Council and the Combined Authority.  

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“Now let’s hope they can work together for the good of Cambridge, the sub-region, the country and the world.  

“It’s the best possible consolation prize, augmented by election as Police and Crime Commissioner of Darryl Preston (who has my wholehearted endorsement).” 

Mr Wotherspoon said that he had spent the weekend “metaphorically clearing my desk, in particular sieving the 10,000 emails of the past six months”. 

“After that I’ll be working through my paper archive, going back to 1998 when it all started with my election to the district council,” he said.  

On the Cottenham village Facebook group, he pointed readers to a regular series of reports he had published.  

Tim Wotherspoon

Tim Wotherspoon, who has been defeated in the county council elections. - Credit: Tim Wotherspoon

"I kind of set out the credo by which I have done my bit to spread a little happiness by enabling people to make things happen,” he said. 

“One of my favourite epitaphs has in fact come from a very senior Liberal Democrat councillor: ‘You brought a capacity for big picture thinking and political honesty which I very much appreciated - and from which the wider area greatly benefitted.’ 

“I can retire gracefully on that note, I think.” 

Mr Wotherspoon said that “as it happens, I never quite felt wholly accepted by either of the administrations of which I was a part, either at the district council or at the county council. 

“I always saw myself as a bit of grit in the oyster. 

“It has been an honour and a privilege for me to have been one of Cottenham and Rampton’s elected representatives for the past twenty-three years.  

“I have enjoyed working with the parish councils, and I acknowledge the many chairmen I have served in this time. My thanks to all parish councillors and the teams of clerks.” 

And he wished his successor, Lib Dem Neil Gough, “well in taking care of Cottenham, Rampton and Willingham for the next four years. 

“All that remains is for me to leave you all with thank you and goodbye.” 

RESULT 2021 

Tim Wotherspoon (Con) 1363 

Neil Gough (Lib Dem) 2045 

Colin Cyril Coe (Green) 435