THE Halesowen and Rowley Regis Conservative Association has hit back over the resignations of councillors Ken and Hazel Turner.

The Hayley Green and Cradley South husband and wife team left the party on Monday before a disciplinary hearing could be held into Cllr Ken Turner's conduct.

Deputy chairman of Halesowen and Rowley Regis Conservative Association Cllr Jeff Hill released a statement condemning Cllr Ken Turner's conduct.

He said: "Councillor Ken Turner was due to face a disciplinary hearing following complaints about his behaviour that were made to the Halesowen and Rowley Regis Conservative Association.

"He would have had the opportunity to present his case at that meeting later this month but has decided to pre-empt a decision by resigning. It wouldn't be appropriate to go into the specifics of the complaint until that matter is fully resolved."

He added: "Cllr Turner's record in the press speaks for itself. He has never been one to shy away from controversy and has been a frequent source of embarrassment to the Conservative Party.

"The Association has tried over many years to build bridges, and has often urged Cllr Turner to be more circumspect in his comments, but with little success."

He added: "In 2000, after failing to get selected as a Conservative candidate, Cllr Turner stood unsuccessfully as an independent in local elections in Blackpool.

"As a result of his actions Cllr Turner was suspended from the Conservative Party for a period of two years. It is therefore no big surprise that he has jumped ship when he failed to get his own way in the Halesowen and Rowley Regis Association."

Cllr Ken Turner told the News he had notified his solicitors about the issue and both his and his wife would remain as councillors and fight forthcoming elections as independents.