Outspoken councillor Phil Yerby was expelled from the Conservative group at Aylesbury Vale District Council because he didn’t ‘tow the line’, a council boss has said.
Council leader Neil Blake confirmed the expulsion and said Mr Yerby had been given ‘second and third chances’ having previously voted against group policy.
Mr Blake said: “He has gone on his own several times to do things that were not in line with group policy.
“He had been given warnings in the past, did apologise and said he had changed his ways and that he would tow the line.
“But that didn’t last very long. It was quite clear that he had broken the rules.”
Mr Blake said the group had agreed to oppose a Vale of Aylesbury plan motion which included the removal of councillor Carole Paternoster from the cabinet.
But Mr Yerby, a former cabinet member who came close to beating Mr Blake in a leadership contest last year, voted in support and, in doing so, against group policy.
Mr Yerby admitted that he was not told full reasons for his expulsion from the group, but believed it was to do with not supporting council tax proposals.
He said: “I have been expelled from the local group only because I did not vote for group policy to increase council tax.”
“I supported national group policy which is not to increase council tax.”
“It’s simply ridiculous that someone has been kicked out for voting for their policy.”
“It’s a bizarre situation.
“I haven’t been told the reason from the council, only from what I’ve seen on BBC news.”
“It is beyond belief that this should happen because what happens is all the Tories get together the night before and decide how to vote. Which makes a mockery out of democracy.”
“I want to listen to the debate before I vote. I will stick up for my view and put my constituents before politics.”
The former cabinet member, and councillor for Aston Clinton’s expulsion has even drawn interest from UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who tweeted the news.