TWO prominent Tory councillors have been rejected as candidates for the next local elections.

In a major snub, former Conservative group leader Glen Miller and former Council regeneration boss Andrew Mallinson failed to be chosen to defend their seats at the next election in spring.

Both councillors have represented their wards for about two decades.

Conservative Party branches in their wards each chose a different candidate, with the members’ proposals agreed this month by the executive committee of the Keighley and Ilkley Conservative Association.

Cllr Miller, who led the Conservative group on Bradford Council from 2011 to 2015, accepted the decision.

He said he would represent his Worth Valley constituents until the 2018 election before seeking “greener pastures”, and would continue as a party member.

He said the non-selection decision may have been influenced by objections he lodged earlier this year to the Keighley constituency party accepting former members of other political parties to help fight the Conservatives’ General Election campaign.

Cllr Miller added: “My failure has come because I speak my mind and say the truth whatever people want to hear. I’ve also been struggling with things the Conservatives have been doing nationally.”

Cllr Mallinson appealed against the decision but Mike Ridgway, the Keighley Conservatives’ deputy chairman (political), this week revealed that officials had dismissed the appeal.

Cllr Mallinson, who was the Council’s executive member for regeneration from 2006 to 2008, said he had believed he had “very good grounds” for appeal on matters concerning the selection process.

Mr Ridgway said the constituency party had carried out a new selection process introduced by the national party.

Members of ward branches were able to choose their own candidate, but if less than 15 members were present the proposal had to be moved up to constituency level for a final decision. This happened in both the Worth Valley and Craven wards.

Mr Ridgway said: “The process was followed and Andrew Mallinson and Glen Miller were not reselected. Both have been very active councillors over the years, and have been very good.”

Silsden town councillor Rebecca Whitaker has been selected to stand for the Conservatives in Craven ward and Keighley butcher Chris Herd will stand in the Worth Valley.

All other sitting Conservative councillors who are up for re-election next spring have been reselected by their respective associations.

These are councillors Mike Gibbons (Ilkley), Val Townend (Baildon), David Heseltine (Bingley), Mike Ellis (Bingley Rural) and Gerry Barker (Wharfedale).