A Conservative councillor has been suspended by the whip over what he branded as “baseless allegations”.

Long-standing Pudsey councillor Simon Seary issued a statement following the Leeds Conservative Group's decision.

The politician, who has represented Pudsey, Swinnow and Tyersal since 2018, will serve as an Independent councillor throughout the party's investigation.

In a statement, Cllr Seary said: “I have been advised by the Leeds Conservative Group that, as a result of what I consider to be baseless allegations by someone with nothing better to do, I have had the whip suspended.

“Consequently, until an investigation is completed I will no longer be a Conservative councillor and will represent the Pudsey Ward as an Independent councillor.

“However, please be assured that I will continue to work hard in the interests of my hometown and the people of Pudsey, Swinnow and Tyersal, as I hope I always have done since (and before) being elected in 2018.

“I shall not let those with an axe to grind, and with something to hide, stop me doing the tasks which it has been my privilege to have.

“I shall not make any further statement at this time, but I’m still available and will be working hard for my constituents.”

What do whips do?

All parties have whips – those who are charged with keeping politicians - from MPs and peers to local councillors - in line. 

The name comes from the term “whipper-in”, the person who, in hunting, would keep the hounds in the pack using a whip.

Have you got a story for us? Email newsdesk@telegraphandargus.co.uk or contact us here.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news.

Sign up to our newsletter to get updates sent straight to your inbox.

You can also call us on 01274 705292.