FIRST it was Christchurch council suffering a “little local difficulty”with its political leadership.

Now the focus has shifted across the conurbation to the Borough of Poole where the Conservative leader, Elaine Atkinson, seems to be facing a vote of no confidence from within her group on Monday. The blue touchpaper issue has been traveller sites, although as ever in these situations, a clash of personalities is also a central factor.

Whatever the reasons (and the outcome), ahead of the European elections in six weeks, the timing couldn’t be much worse. For the Tories anyway.