A Darlington councillor has left the Conservative party and become an Independent member. 

Yvonne Renton, one of three borough councillors for the Middleton St George and Sadberge ward, was elected at the local elections in May. 

She was voted into the role for the first time following the retirement of two former long-serving Conservative councillors. 

But the former Tory has now left the party she represented just five months into her role. 

It is not clear why cllr Renton has left the party and become an Independent member. 

Both Darlington Conservatives and cllr Renton were contacted for comment but did not respond. 

It means there are now just 14 elected Conservative councillors on Darlington Borough Council after the Tories suffered a heavy defeat in May’s local elections. Labour regained control of the authority after collaborating with the Liberal Democrats, a move which both parties said will “mean stability for Darlington and the effective running of the council”

Darlington Conservatives had previously been in control of the council after striking a coalition deal with the Liberal Democrats and Independent members in 2019, but has now returned to the opposition benches. 

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​After accusing the Conservatives of overspending, Labour leader cllr Stephen Harker described the council’s finances as “a big mess that you’re handing over for someone else to sort out”. 


He added: “Given your party has crashed the economy nationally, the Conservatives’ reckless financial mismanagement here in Darlington comes as no surprise.”

Overall, the council is currently made up of 24 Labour members, 14 Conservatives, 7 Green members, 3 Liberal Democrats and 2 Independents.