THE ‘inspirational’ leader of Conwy council could be ousted in a challenge to his position as a result of what he claims is disloyalty, breach of trust and naked political ambition.

Cllr Gareth Jones faces a demand he be removed as leader, and a special meeting of the full council will be held on Monday June 3, to decide what happens.

The meeting was requested by five members of the authority following the recent sacking of cllr Sam Rowlands from his position as cabinet member for finance.

Cllr Rowlands said: “The purpose of the meeting is to discuss two motions. The first is to remove cllr Gareth Jones as leader. If this motion is passed the next would be to elect a new leader of the council.”

He added: “I suppose a lot of issues will come to light in the debate. A lot of people were shocked when I was removed from the cabinet. I have had a lot of support from members across the political divide. People are talking about a lack of direction as to where we are going as a council. But we will have to see what happens on the day.

“Some rash decisions have been made recently, and my removal from the cabinet is an example. People are getting frustrated and fed up with this.”

Cllr Jones said: “I am very disappointed to find myself facing a leadership challenge, not about the democratic process of being challenged, but about the nature of that challenge. This is not about confidence in my qualities and my record as the leader of this authority or about the excellent work carried out by members of my cabinet, but very simply as the result of naked political ambition and disloyalty by one former member of that cabinet.

“I have always based my leadership on trust, integrity and team working and was extremely disappointed when one member of the cabinet, cllr Sam Rowlands broke that trust by attempting to collude with others to bring to an end my leadership, to dismiss most of his cabinet colleagues including some from his own party and to undermine two years of hard work.”

Cllr Jones added: “When his actions became public knowledge I had no choice as leader but to relieve him of his post. As a cabinet we have had to take difficult decisions over the last two years but we did that collectively as a team based on trust and a shared goal of delivering the best services for the residents of our county under difficult, sometimes almost impossible circumstances.

“Councillor Sam betrayed that trust.

“The challenge to my leadership and to the future of my cabinet is therefore clearly directly linked to my decision to dismiss cllr Sam Rowlands, and is not about confidence in my leadership qualities or track record.

“I find it strange and disturbing that at a time when confidence and trust in politicians is at its lowest for many years, some cllrs are prepared to support this attempt to bring me, and this cabinet down based on misguided loyalty to a former cabinet member who has clearly crossed a moral and ethical line in order to further his own political ambition.”

Councillor Garffild Lloyd Lewis, cabinet member for education and skills said: "I have had the privilege of working closely with Gareth Jones over the last two years and look forward to continuing with that work on behalf of the residents of Conwy in future.

“He is an inspirational leader and has based his leadership on integrity, trust and reaching out to listen to others across the political divide. Apart from leading the Council, he is respected throughout Wales and is making a massive contribution to economic development across the north Wales region with the North Wales Economic Ambition Board. "

Cllr Rowlands had earlier claimed he was sacked for trying to bring opposition members into the council administration.

Conwy is currently run by a coalition of Conservatives, Independents and defectors from Plaid Cymru.

But this shaky alliance is four members short of the 30 seats needed for a majority.

This has made crucial votes come down to the wire with the administration relying on the four Liberal Democrat councillors to get controversial decisions like the budget which hiked council tax by 9.6% over the line.

This is why Cllr Rowlands said he had spoken to Cllr Goronwy Edwards, a former leader himself, to see if his Conwy First Independent Group could be brought into the fold.

This move seems to have been the catalyst for his sacking, according to Cllr Rowlands.