Tory councillor swaps sides

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A LONG serving Conservative councillor has quit his party amid allegations of age discrimination.

Hardhorn councillor Frank Turner, a true blue for 80 years, said he felt he had no choice but to switch his allegiance to the Labour group.

He told The Gazette he no longer felt valued within the Tory party and other younger candidates were given preferential treatment.

The 87-year-old, a councillor for 12 years, said: “For the last two years there has been a concerted effort to get me out because of my age.

“I’m disappointed, I have supported the Conservatives since the 1930s when my grandfather was a councillor in Blackpool.

“I dare not repeat what he would say about me joining the Labour group if he was alive, probably something you can’t print.

“I haven’t made any plans, there was talk of me standing in Hardhorn as a Labour candidate but that is the safest seat in Wyre.”

Wyre Council leader Peter Gibson said it was sad to see him leave after so many years of service.

He said: “It is a loss, however he faced a selection meeting in Hardhorn and there were three candidates for the two seats but on the day of the selection he decided not to attend.

“This left the committee with no choice but to select the candidates who did actually go to the meeting, there was no age discrimination, he didn’t turn up”

Labour group leader Clive Grunshaw said he was delighted to welcome such a well respected member of Wyre council to the group.

He said: “Councillor Turner will be a welcome addition and can only strengthen the Labour team at Wyre council.”