The new leader of the Isle of Wight Council’s opposition Tory group makes his first appearance in a key role tonight (Wednesday)… but just who is Councillor Joe Robertson?
In December, the Conservatives announced Councillor Steve Hastings was standing down due to ill health. He had led them since May, when previous council leader Councillor Dave Stewart fell at the local elections.
The Conservatives are putting forward Cllr Robertson to take over as chair of the corporate scrutiny committee from Cllr Hastings. This will be decided at tonight’s (Wednesday) full council meeting.
Cllr Robertson grew up and went to school on the Island, before attending university and law school in London, but has also been involved in Island politics since his days in education. He was chair of the ‘Conservative Future’, now known as the Young Conservatives, and has since held multiple senior roles within the IW Conservative Association.
In 2017, he was nominated to replace former MP Andrew Turner, with whom he did work experience, before ultimately losing out to Bob Seely.
In 2019, Cllr Robertson stood for MP in Erith and Thamesmead, Surrey, coming second to Labour.
Outside of the political sphere, Cllr Robertson has continued as a solicitor practising in Southampton. He is now an advisor with a national nursing charity but was also a former trustee of the Island’s Citizens’ Advice and is a governor at 2 Island primary schools.
He has also served on St Helens Parish Council, where he was chair for 2 years.
Cllr Robertson is now settled on the Island with his wife and young children and in May, beat Our Island candidate Alasdair Steane to regain Bembridge for the Tories, securing more than half of the votes.
May was not the first time Cllr Robertson stood for the Isle of Wight Council. In 2009 he was unsuccessful in securing 1 of the then 2 seats for Bembridge.
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