A newly elected Lancashire County Councillor has quit the Conservative party accusing fellow Tories of intimidation.
County Coun Paul Greenall claimed he had faced unacceptable pressure when he wanted to table a motion calling for the axing of some of the allowances councillors can claim.
At a full county council meeting he said: “Not only have I been advised if I speak out on this issue I will face consequences and the prospect of being removed from the Conservative group, but incredibly it was even suggested I should seek dispensation from the whip and party leader before I could speak on the matter,”
He complained he had “been approached even in the gents” before the meeting.
Coun Greenall, who represents West Lancashire East and is a former Tory mayor, said: “I wanted to be a new voice in this council chamber. However if I allow myself to be suffocated by rules imposed on me by the Conservative group I feel I have no option to resign the Tory whip and continue to serve this council as an independent.”