A Darlington councillor has resigned from the Conservative Party but has vowed to continue serving residents as an independent member. 

Cllr Colin Pease was elected as a Tory councillor for the Sadberge and Middleton St George ward at the May 2023 local election. 

But after just a year on the council, he has become an independent councillor. 

The former Tory said he was unhappy with “several issues which have not been addressed to my satisfaction” in a message to residents on social media. Yet, he assured locals that becoming an independent councillor would not affect his work in the ward. 

“This is nothing to do with the general election or any specific event, it’s just that I have been unhappy with several issues over several months, which have not been addressed to my satisfaction,” Cllr Pease said. 

He added: “I hope over the past year I have convinced you of my commitment to the ward and its residents. To be honest, none of the things I’ve been dealing with are politically driven.  

“That’s not what being a ward councillor is about, in my book anyway.  The only time politics rears its ugly head is in Town Hall business and as the Tories are in opposition they have little influence.

“To clarify further, before the vultures start circling, there is no requirement for a by-election. I will continue to work for you as I have always done as an independent councillor.”

Cllr Pease’s defection comes after cllr Yvonne Renton, also of the Sadberge and Middleton St George ward, resigned from the Conservative Party and became an independent councillor last year.

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There are now 13 Conservative councillors on Darlington Borough Council compared to 24 Labour members, seven Green Party members, three Liberal Democrats and three independents. 

Labour regained control of Darlington Borough Council in May 2023 after agreeing a coalition deal with the Liberal Democrats.

The Darlington Conservative Party was contacted for comment.