Nottingham City Council’s two current Conservative councillors will be standing as independents in the upcoming election in May following a “fall-out” within the party.
In February the current leader of the Nottingham Conservative Group, Andrew Rule, announced he would be standing down over the treatment of fellow councillor Roger Steel.
The row began after Cllr Steel, who represents Clifton West alongside Cllr Rule, was not selected by the local party as a candidate for the upcoming Nottingham City Council election on May 4.
He alleged there had been an “attempt to hi-jack” his seat in a dispute over the candidates selected by the party.
In protest, Cllr Rule withdrew his application for selection as a Conservative candidate for the Clifton West ward.
Just two seats of 55 on the council currently belong to the Nottingham Conservatives, and the fall-out means neither of them will be standing for the party again in May.
However, they have since announced they will be standing as independents.
Cllr Rule said: “Over the last few weeks I’ve been heartened to receive kind and supportive messages across the ward, saying we never really voted for the badge you wore, it was a vote for you.
“We are not affiliated with any party.”
Asked about leaving the Nottingham Conservatives behind, he added: “I will miss the role if I do not get elected, but otherwise it will be very much business as usual.”
Cllr Steel added: “We’ve been incumbent for a number of years and we would hope to return our past support.
“I think we have a proven delivery and we hope to continue that.”
Cllr Rule was initially elected for the Clifton North ward in 2015, before being elected to Clifton West in 2019 with the Conservatives.
Cllr Steel had served for the Conservatives since 2011, having been a member of the party since 2003.
On March 16 the Nottingham City Conservative Federation announced it had selected Daniel Atherton and Dr Aamir Nawaz to stand in Clifton West.
They will now appear on the ballot paper alongside Cllr Rule and Cllr Steel, who will stand as independent councillors.
Other parties are yet to announce their candidates in the ward.
In total, 50 Nottingham City Council seats belong to the Nottingham Labour Group, while two belong to the Conservatives.
The remaining three belong to the Nottingham Independents.