A FURIOUS councillor has defected from Labour just eight days after the local election, alleging a backstabbing campaign to get rid of him.

Councillor Austen Brooker became an Independent councillor after he was told Labour councillors John Muckle, Deborah Stoate and Matthew Bryant tried to prevent him from standing as a Labour councillor.

And he says he was disillusioned by the way Cllr Muckle supported council officers rather than his constituents over a parking complaint.

The Standards Board of England has rejected his allegations, saying there is no case to investigate. All three councillors deny the allegations.

The timing of the defection has angered Labour councillors, who need as many seats as possible following the close results at the local election.

And the defection is bound to frustrate some residents who voted for him as he was a Labour candidate.

Cllr Bryant said: "By leaving the Labour group I think he has deceived his electorate. If he wants to stand as an Independent he should stand down and give the electorate a chance to make a real choice."

The renegade councillor says he stood as a Labour candidate because he was selected in January. But he cannot explain why he did not step down before May 1 despite his disillusionment with the group.

And he cannot remember whether he found out about the alleged conspiracy before or after the election.

He said: "As far as I am concerned, I was voted in to represent the interests of my constituents. If I think something's wrong I will take it to the lengths of the earth."

Cllr Stoate welcomed the Standards Board's decision and said the matter was a "storm in a tea cup".

A Standards Board spokeswoman said: "The allegations did not constitute a breach of the code of conduct."