A former member of Bradford Council’s Executive has quit the Conservative Party and vowed to stand as an independent candidate for his Craven ward seat.

Councillor Adrian Naylor resigned from the party this week after he failed to win selection from Keighley and Ilkley Conservative Association to defend his seat in May’s council elections.

He remains in the Craven seat as an independent councillor, and says he plans to stand for election as an independent councillor to represent the people of Addingham, Silsden and Steeton.

A former Executive member for regeneration and economy, Coun Naylor said he continued to support the Conservative Party nationally, but repeated claims of a “stitch-up” locally.

He failed to make it onto a shortlist of candidates in November and appealed against this. The appeal date has been set for March 22.

Keighley and Ilkley Association recently pressed ahead with the selection process, choosing Andrew Rowley as its Craven ward candidate.

Councillor Naylor said: “I’ve no quarrel with the national party. I support David Cameron with his attempts to manage the country given the state of the finances the last Government left and the worsening international situation.

“However, I have an issue with the small group of people who’ve delayed and manipulated the process and have not provided a proper explanation of why it has taken four months to hear my appeal.”

Coun Naylor, who lives in Silsden, said it was a “critical time” for the Craven ward, with Bradford’s Local Development Framework potentially bringing 2,900 new houses to the ward, hitting the infrastructure and schools provision.

Bradford Council Conservative group leader Councillor Glen Miller (Worth Valley) said the group leadership was already recommending Coun Naylor’s suspension from the group, as a result of complaints from a member over “group issues”.

Coun Naylor criticised the group leadership for “acting as judge and jury” when they had not discussed the matter with him and had come to the conclusion without hearing both sides of the story.

Coun Naylor’s resignation puts the Conservative group further behind the leading Labour group. The Con-servatives hold 27 seats to Labour’s 44, since Coun Naylor and Wharfedale ward councillor Chris Greaves became independent.