A CONSERVATIVE councillor has quit the borough council’s Tory group after claiming he could not 'properly represent' residents while sitting for the party.

The shock move will mean councillor Malcolm Tullett, who was ward member for Hanworth from 2015 to 2019 and who is currently ward member for Old Bracknell, will now sit on Bracknell Forest Council as an independent councillor.

The politician will continue to sit as a Conservative on Bracknell Town Council, however.

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Asked why he quit the borough council’s Tory group, Cllr Tullett told the News: "I remain a true and committed conservative.

“However, I have been put in a position where I cannot be an effective councillor due to being compromised by both the group whip system at borough level and a few individuals within that group.

“I cannot properly represent my residents within the constraints of the Conservative whip.

“I have no issues, whatsoever, with my continued involvement as a Conservative councillor at [Bracknell] Town Council level.”

Councillor Tullett currently sits on a number of committees at Bracknell Forest Council, including panels which investigate issues such as climate change, governance and employment issues at the authority.

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He also currently sits as the chairman of the wellbeing and finance overview and scrutiny panel, which has led investigations into Blue Badge issues and social isolation and loneliness in recent months.

Councillor Paul Bettison, leader of the Conservative group at Bracknell Forest Council, said: “Bracknell Forest Council has received notification that Cllr Malcolm Tullett is now an Independent Conservative councillor.”.

Mr Tullett will now join the opposition at BFC following his resignation of the Conservative whip.

Asked for her reaction, Labour councillor Mary Temperton, leader of the opposition said: “There's quite a lot of division within the council.

“I think when you try to be constructively critical that is quite difficult because it's taken as being totally against everything.

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“For many of us, we’re there for the residents and the residents only and that's the main thing that counts.

“I think that is what Malcolm is there for.

“I know from the town council and he's passionate about making a huge difference from the residents’ point of view.

“So the infighting -- or whatever is going on within the Conservative group -- must be annoying and frustrating to many.

“You either toe the line or you don’t. For many of us it’s all about being on the council to serve the residents of Bracknell and that’s the priority.”