A HAMPSHIRE council has been rocked by a bitter dispute between the leader and a fellow member of the ruling Tory group.

Cllr Geoff Fazackarley issued a statement saying he had resigned from the Conservative group on Fareham Borough Council and become an Independent member.

But the leader of the council, Cllr Sean Woodward, said Cllr Fazackarley had been expelled from the group.

In his statement Cllr Fazackarley said he no longer felt able to serve under Cllr Woodward.

He cited what he claimed was the "lack of democracy and transparency" surrounding the current administration, claiming there was "too much intimidation and bullying".

Cllr Fazackarley said a complaint had been submitted to the Conservative Party.

Writing on social media Cllr Woodward said: "I am disappointed to have to announce that I have today been forced to expel Councillor Geoff Fazackarley as a member of Fareham Conservatives on Fareham Borough Council for his betrayal of the trust of his colleagues.

"Cllr Fazackarley has been meeting and working with the opposition independent group on the Council against the Conservative administration for some time.

"If he sees himself as a member of the independent group his most honourable course of action is to immediately resign his council seat to which he was elected as a Conservative and to fight under his new colours in May to see which party the residents of Fareham South wish to have represent them."