15th March 1996 at 00:00
Poor old Andrew Turner. The director of the Grant-Maintained Schools Centre has so far been thwarted in his ambition for a safe Conservative seat as no one will have him. Now the mayoral chains of Oxford have been snatched from his grasp, as he told anyone prepared to listen in the bar at this week's grant-maintained schools conference in Birmingham.

The Lord Mayor of Oxford it seems is elected on a "Buggins' turn" basis. And Mr Turner, both as a Conservative of 17 years' standing and a former City Sheriff, believes that he is Buggins. But he will not be donning ermine (or crushed velvet or whatever) because the city's majority Labour group has elected someone else. Beryl Keen is both a Labour councillor and a woman, explained a spokesman, two factors in her favour.

More pressing still, it seems likely that Mr Turner will not find favour with the Oxford voters come the May elections. The Conservative complement is expected to plummet from four to one and not even the People's Party can elect a non-existent councillor as Mayor.

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