A YORK councillor has quit his party’s council group over an internal row.

Ceredig Jamieson-Ball resigned the group whip within the Liberal Democrats, who control City of York Council.

It means he is no longer bound to vote on party lines, although he will remain a member of the party and a Heslington councillor until the May 5 local elections, when he is to stand down after eight years.

He wants to concentrate on his family following a serious health scare for his young son. The issue is a fresh blow for the Lib Dems following a recent scathing attack on their local leadership by Wheldrake councillor Christian Vassie, who has since been suspended from the party.

Should Coun Jamieson-Ball, a former deputy leader of the council, not rejoin the group before the budget-setting council meeting on February 24, he can theoretically vote against his own party or abstain.

He said: “I have resigned the group whip due to an internal dispute, but I fully intend to remain an active member of the Liberal Democrats and continue as a councillor for Heslington until the local elections in May.

“What I would hope is that the internal issue is resolved by the budget meeting and I can rejoin the group.”

Council leader Andrew Waller said: “His membership of the Liberal Democrat party remains current. We remain busy working on a budget which will continue to deliver good-quality services for the residents of York.”

Coun James Alexander, who leads the council’s Labour group, said: “The Lib Dems are imploding nationally and locally, and this resignation from somebody so senior is testament to the waste, failure and dysfunction the current administration exhibits.”

Conservative leader Coun Ian Gillies said: “The Lib Dems seem to be in complete disarray and, on that basis, the local elections cannot come quickly enough.”