A COUNCILLOR reelected as a Conservative last week has quit the party’s group in South Oxfordshire.

Elizabeth Gillespie has been the district councillor for Garsington and Horspath for 12 years.

She resigned from the party’s group after she was told an appeal against a brief suspension issued by the local group in January had been rejected.

Mrs Gillespie was one of seven Conservative councillors to vote against their council’s controversial Local Plan at a meeting in December 2018.

READ MORE: Conservatives suspend six South Oxfordshire councillors – including former leader John Cotton

But six of those were suspended by the council group.

In a statement, Mrs Gillespie said she had been ‘really heartened’ by support and being reelected.

But she said she had ‘no further alternative’ but to resign after she was told the appeal had been rejected on Wednesday.

She will sit as an Independent Conservative after winning half of the vote in her ward.

Mrs Gillespie added: “I have undertaken to represent the views of the residents in the hope that these threats to our city and our communities in the Green Belt can be averted.”

Her resignation means the Conservatives now have just nine councillors – on an authority they controlled before the local elections.

A coalition, led by Liberal Democrats, will be formed next week.