TWO Conservative councillors have defected to the Liberal Democrats.
East Hampshire Councillors Maureen Comber and Eve Hope crossed the floor just a few weeks ahead of local elections.
It brings the number of Tory defections to the Lib Dems to three since January following Cllr Ian Dowdle’s reinstatement to the party.
Cllr Comber, who represents Selbourne, said of the leading East Hampshire Tory party, ‘There is a nasty atmosphere. Elected councillors are being excluded or browbeaten into following the party whip as dictated by the leader and his inner circle.’
Liphook and Bramshot representative Cllr Hope echoed her colleague’s sentiments.
Tory leader Cllr Patrick Burridge said their views had veered away from mainstream Conservative thinking in the district and their move ‘appears to suggest desperation’. He said new candidates had been chosen for their wards, which go to the polls on May 5.