A GOVERNOR of a school says he was asked to step down over his membership of UKIP.

Councillor Mike Ward says he handed in his resignation from his role as chair of governors at Eskdale School after being asked to stand down by the headteacher.

Mr Ward had been a governor at the Whitby junior school for eight years and chair of governors for five, as well as being an independent councillor with Scarborough Borough Council.

However, several weeks ago he announced he had joined UKIP and would now representing the party on the council.

He said that shortly afterwards headteacher Sue Whelan called him into school and he was asked to consider resigning.

He says he was told that UKIP policies on education went against the school's ethos.

Eskdale School said it did not wish to comment on the matter, but it is believed it was unhappy at UKIP’s policy on refusing education to children of immigrants during their first five years in the country.

Mr Ward said: “I was astonished as politics had never played a part in my time as a governor”.

He said that he decided to tender his resignation after his conversation with the head teacher as he “did not wish to cause the school any further issues”.

Now another UKIP councillor on the borough council, Sam Cross, has lodged a formal complaint over Mr Ward’s resignation on behalf of the UKIP members on North Yorkshire and Scarborough councils.

He says UKIP policy on education had been misinterpreted.

He added that Mr Ward was an experienced governor who had put in many hours helping the school prepare and submit a business case for extending the school age range from 14 to 16, which the governors had campaigned for.

Cllr Cross said: “He was a teacher in Oxford and knows more about the education system probably more than anyone in Whitby. He loved working there; it was something he had expertise in and it was his passion."

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire County Council said: "We understand that the governing body is taking this complaint very seriously and will undertake an independent investigation."