The leader of Burnley Borough Council has resigned amidst 'petty ambition, petty one upmanship and petty squabbling plaguing the administration'.

Councillor Charlie Briggs, who represents the Burnley and Padiham Independent Party on the coalition council, tendered his resignation on Friday morning following months of infighting among the parties, particularly within the Conservative party, who appointed a new leader last month.

In his full statement, Cllr Briggs said: "We are a party that is based on community and hard work.

"We went into this coalition with some trepidation, with the intention of doing the best for the town.

"I accepted the invite to be leader of the council as a neutral chair for a group of councillors from a variety of parties.

"It has become evident in the last few weeks that the Conservatives are crippled by infighting and have even removed their own executive members.

"The Liberal Democrats have no intention of working with the current leadership of the Conservatives as they have a history with UKIP.

"This has made running the council in its present form untenable."

The announcement comes after the Lancashire Telegraph broke the news that Conservative leader, Cllr Alan Hosker, stormed out of a meeting on Wednesday in an apparent backlash at the executive's decision not to allow him to sit on the board.

However, it follows months of problems within the Tory party, which saw two senior members suspended from their roles last month, resulting in the former leader of the party, Cllr Cosima Towneley resigning her position on the council.

Cllr Briggs' statement continued: "My position has become less a leader and more a referee having to repeatedly engage in resolving disputes.

"I have been constantly pressured to do what one group wants, which another group does not.

"It appears that some of the local councillors are more concerned with their own ambitions and principles than the towns needs at this perilous time.

"We need a stable coalition and I feel that it is impossible to get with the leadership of the Conservative and Lib Dems.

"We cannot allow the council to be frozen by parties more concerned with themselves than the residents.

"I, Councillor Charles Briggs have resigned my position as leader of the council and a new leader from the next administration will be appointed.

"This is needed at a time when important decisions must be made and a strong council is essential.

"I love Burnley and Burnley people and it breaks my heart to have had to make this decision.

"It has been an honour to serve the communities of the town where I was born and raised.

"My only regret is that the leaders and members of the other coalition parties, could not rise above the petty ambition, petty one upmanship and petty squabbling that has plagued this administration."

Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Cllr Gordon Birtwistle said: "Cllr Briggs has been a great leader and a committed leader, and a good friend.

"But unfortunately he has been driven out by the pressure put on him by members of the Conservative party.

"Ivor Emo, Cosima Towneley and now Charlie - they've all been driven out."

A planned meeting of full council will be held on September 30; it's hoped that a new leader and executive will be appointed then, although it is expected leader of the Labour party, Cllr Mark Townsend will take over. 

Cllr Townsend said: "Being in charge is difficult and I’d like to thank Cllr Briggs for his work over the last 15 months leading the Council through unprecedented times.

"Unfortunately this outcome has been on the cards for months as the coalition fell apart in front of us.

"For the good of the borough during this horrendous health and jobs crisis we need a stable council that can focus on the future, looking outwards rather than inwards.

"As the largest party on the council the Labour Group understand our responsibilities towards achieving this and I’ll be consulting with colleagues over the coming days as to what should happen next."