A TORY claims the York Conservative Association is riven with ‘childish infighting’ - and he was sacked as a deputy chairman when he tried to heal the biggest rift.

Scott Marmion said he went to talk to former council leader David Carr and fellow councillor Suzie Mercer – who quit the party in the spring after Cllr Carr was ousted as leader - about the possibility of them returning to the fold.

But he said this went against the wishes of association chairman Matt Freckelton and he lost his job as ‘deputy chairman politics’ less than four months after his election.

Dr Marmion said he was speaking out to let people know why he was no longer in post and also reveal the scale of the party’s problems, which he said paralleled those nationally over Brexit but involved personality differences.

He claimed the resignations of Cllrs Carr and Mercer from the party had left an ‘open wound,’ which needed to be repaired as soon as possible before any more damage, with the party at risk of failing to win their seats back at next year’s council elections in wards it should easily win.

He said he had met the councillors informally to see if they would even be open to the suggestion of returning to the party. He was now considering standing as an Independent next year and wanted to encourage others to consider doing so as well.

Mr Freckelton said Dr Marmion was not dismissed for his ‘strange view’ that the councillors should rejoin the group but because he repeatedly went against colleagues’ clear wishes and held ‘secret meetings’ behind people’s backs.

He said Dr Marmion’s approach to the Press said ‘much of the arrogance of a man who occupied a private party, voluntary role and one he arrived in and left without anyone in York noticing.’

He claimed that whilst there were always differences of opinion, there was no ‘infighting’ in York Conservatives.