THE FORMER city council leader who resigned and accused his Conservative colleagues of betrayal is to be part of a new political group on the council.

Cllr David Carr quit the Conservative party alongside Cllr Suzie Mercer at a chaotic full council meeting in February. The pair are now to be part of a new York Independents Group, which they say will be open to other councillors as well.

Cllr Mercer, who represents Wheldrake Ward and will lead the new group, said: "Our first priority is to our respective ward residents, and to continue putting their interests and concerns first."

Copmanthorpe ward councillor Cllr Carr added: "This is a crucial period for the residents of York with the draft Local Plan now out for its final round of consultation before submission to Government.

"Our immediate task will be to encourage our ward residents to respond to the consultation so that their views can be taken on board."

There are now four independent members on City of York Council - Cllrs Carr and Mercer, Cllr Mark Warters of Osbaldwick and Cllr Johnny Hayes of Micklegate ward.

On Monday Cllr Carr's successor as council leader Ian Gillies appointed three brand new members - Keith Myers, Peter Dew and Helen Douglas - to fill the Conservatives' seats on the ruling executive committee.