A senior West Northamptonshire councillor has been expelled from the Conservative Party after an internal investigation into complaints made against him.
Ian McCord was suspended by his local association just hours before a leadership contest for West Northamptonshire Council following its first elections last month.
The now-independent Deanshanger councillor said he will appeal the decision, which has been confirmed by the party, and described the investigation as a 'stitch up'.
"I shall appeal. The local stage of this was a foregone conclusion with no respect for the rules or the published guidelines of the party," he said in a statement.
"I trust that a properly independent investigation will see this for the stitch up that it is. I shall not comment further until the appeal is determined."
Councillor McCord was a contender for the West Northamptonshire Council leadership vote on May 12, having served as the head of the Shadow West Northamptonshire Authority and South Northamptonshire Council.
Ex-Northampton Borough Council leader Jonathan Nunn ended up winning the ballot of Tory councillors with Councillor McCord told of his suspension the day before.
South Northamptonshire Conservatives Association confirmed a number of complaints had been made against him.
At the time, association deputy chairman Andre Gonzalez De Savage told the Chronicle & Echo the complaints would be investigated by a team from outside the association and Councillor McCord will have a chance to put across his case.
Councillor McCord won one of three Deanshanger seats for the new unitary authority in the elections on May 6, having been a district councillor since 2011.
West Northamptonshire Council was formed to replace the county council, Northampton borough, Daventry and South Northamptonshire district councils on April 1.
The changes came after the government ruled the county council should be abolished in the wake of it declaring itself effectively insolvent in 2018.
But the new authority was put on hold for a year during the Covid-19 pandemic with the first elections postponed from April, 2020.
A spokesperson on behalf of West Northamptonshire Conservative Association said: “Ian McCord has been expelled from the Conservative Party.”