A Tory councillor has resigned from the Conservative party.

Dr Alaa Al-Yousuf said he would not yet go into reasons but will continue to represent Freeland and Hanborough as an Independent councillor.

He posted on Facebook: "I have resigned from the Conservative party and group at WODC and will sit as an independent councillor for Freeland and Hanborough until May.

"This is effective immediately because of significant differences over several government policies."

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He told the Oxford Mail: “I am not going to elaborate. It is not in anybody’s interest right now for me to make a statement. My priority is to serve my ward in the best way possible.

“There are always reasons to work together and collaborate and sometimes things do not work properly.”

Dr Al-Yousuf, a retired former senior economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, was elected to West Oxfordshire District Council in 2018. 

He chaired the council's finance and management overview and scrutiny committee until recently.

He previously chaired the environment and climate change committee.

It means there are now 16 Conservative councillors, 17 Liberal Democrats, 11 Labour/Labour and Co-operative, 3 Green councillors and 2 independents on West Oxfordshire District Council.