A COUNCIL Conservative group has deposed its leader.

Tories in Burnley, part of the ruling coalition running the borough, have suspended current postholder Cllr Andrew Newhouse pending an investigation.

His position has been temporarily taken by Whitefield with Ightenhill ward’s Cllr Dale Ferrier.

It is understood there will be a leadership meeting over the weekend in which former UKIP representative Cllr Alan Hosker, who joined the party with two Brexit Party colleagues in January, is expected to stand for leader.

Labour opposition leader Cllr Mark Townsend said: “I think deposing Cllr Newhouse is a disgrace when the town needs stability. Burnley Conservatives are fighting like ferrets in a sack. It seems UKIP is taking over.”

Cliviger with Worsthorne’s Cllr Newhouse, who became leader in May 2018, declined to comment.

Burnley elected its first Conservative MP for 109 years when Antony Higginbotham won the seat in December.

Labour also lost control of the council in May last year.

Mr Higginbotham said: “I don’t think as MP it is my place to comment on the council Conservative group. I am sure it will be resolved appropriately.”

Cllr Ferrier said: “Cllr Newhouse is no longer leader. I am temporarily. A process is under way.”

Cllr Hosker declined to comment.

Burnley Council leader Cllr Charlie Briggs, from the Burnley and Padiham Independent Party, said: “I have no comment to make.”