A MARRIED couple of Conservative councillors have been reinstated.

Cllr David Stansfield, who represents Helmshore on Rossendale Borough and Lancashire County Council, had been expelled after an investigation into his benefit claims.

His wife Cllr Val Roberts, then leader of the Rossendale Tory group, had been suspended over allegedly sharing 'offensive' comments on Facebook.

The party decided procedures for Cllr Stansfield's expulsion, after he paid back £3,000 in council tax benefits and a £1,000 fine, were technically deficient. His reinstatement increases the Conservative majority on the county council to three.

A Conservative Party spokesman said: “Following an internal investigation into their conduct, Cllrs Stansfield and Roberts have been reinstated.”

Cllr Stansfield said: "We're glad to be back."

Cllr Annabel Shipley remains leader of Rossendale Tory group until May 3's local elections.