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Cllr Stephen George condemns potential new Southend Council Leader Daniel Cowan in Full Council. Should he resign?

Updated: Mar 24

Full Council Meeting

Thursday, 21st March 2024 at 6:30pm 

Cllr Stephen George has gone out with the loudest bang I can remember in local or national politics.

He has personal experience of what has happened between himself and Southend Labour Leader, Daniel Cowan, and it is not good.

I have written many blogs about various council meetings and what has gone on, so this is not a personal attack. However, we are very likely about to see a change in leadership in Southend back to the Labour-led coalition of Lib Dems, Independent Group and Greens, for which Daniel will be the leader of Southend City Council.

In his parting speech, Cllr Stephen George said:

"I have to be honest, the way Aston Line and I have been treated is nothing short of appalling.

"To my Labour colleagues, at the group AGM, elect a leader you can be proud of because Southend deserves better than a bullying, coercive, controlling, egotist. Southend deserves better than a spiteful, toxic, vindictive, misogynistic narcissist.

"A man whose relentless pursuit of power over the last five years has come at the cost of truth."

This meeting is aired publicly for anyone interested, so it wasn't meant as a secret. Cllr George is letting us all know what we are in for if Labour get elected.

Cllr George is a highly respected member of the council and the Labour Party and was elected leader until recently. Whether you agree with his views or not, he is a born and breed Southend man who loves our town. He is a man of integrity and his words could never leave his lips if he didn't mean them. I take take them with the utmost sincerity and seriousness.

These are highly inflammatory condemnations of a person's reputation and character, and it is absolutely vital that Cllr Cowan addresses each criticism because Southend has a right to know what he has done to spark such a damning appraisal, and whether there is any truth in this.

Personally, I would resign immediately.

I have often thought about doing so as leader of Southend Confelicity because of my perceived bias regarding my position as a Director of Stockvale. Some councillors have labelled us the 'Peter Pans Playground Party' - which even I can see the funny side of - but it means that all the hard work being done by everyone else in the party could be undermined by this perception. However, just because it is not true, doesn't meant it won't be enough to stifle our progress to become the first local party to win power. Without question, Cllr George's assessment of Cllr Cowan is hugely damaging to Labour's electoral chances and could well see the Conservatives being one of the only councils in the country not to lose because of it.

Labour will be in deep trouble when this hits the papers. Daniel probably should go for the sake of Southend, his Labour colleagues and himself. If he choses not to, so be it. But, unfortunately, that would indicate much of what Cllr George has spoken about.

I would highly recommend watching the speech yourself to draw your own conclusions and questions. Wind forward to 3:46

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Tris Bee
Tris Bee
Mar 22
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Tris Bembridge.


Tris Bee
Tris Bee
Mar 22
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

James in relation to this are you glad you aren't part of it anymore?

Labour Southend are so divided and I do consider many of them the nasty party.

I know Daniel well, and he has always been a gentleman, I give him that.

But regardless of who is at the helm of that party has a poison chalice on their hands.

I genuinely believe Labour are taking victory in Southend West GE so badly for ranted the forget governments usually get a 5% swing on election day.

It's going to be a nail biter, but at this rate, they'll be nailed to the floor, maybe I'm the most naïve person in Southend, but I'm certain Anna Firth is here…

Replying to

Hi Tris,

I was disappointed with what I found - so, unfortunately, yes.

Jon (our Deputy Leader) and I have agreed said Confelicity wouldn’t exist if there was a well-run, cohesive, positive culture in the Southend branch.

I don’t know how it can be rescued to be honest. There’s a lot of hatred, vitriol and mis-trust there. It is not an organisation that is anywhere near fit to run a city.

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