LIBERAL Democrats in Kidderminster have challenged town councillor Martin Stooke to a by-election after he joined the Conservative Group.

The move comes just months after Cllr Stooke announced he was leaving UKIP due to concerns about extremist views, in order to become an Independent.

Now Lib Dem members are calling on the councillor to resign immediately from Kidderminster Town Council, claiming both parties - Conservative and UKIP - were "resoundingly rejected" in May's district council elections.

Cllr Fran Oborski said: "Earlier this year, Cllr Stooke announced that, due to concerns about the racist influences in UKIP nationally, he had resigned from UKIP and was to sit for the rest of his term as an Independent councillor.

"Now, without the courtesy of informing the residents of the ward he claims to represent, he appears to have joined the Conservative Party.

"On May 2 this year, in the Wyre Forest District Council elections in the Offmore Comberton ward, the highest Conservative vote was 429, the highest UKIP vote was 482 and the highest Liberal Democrat vote was 1,183.

"In view of the fact that both his previous parties were resoundingly rejected I call on Cllr Stooke to resign immediately from Kidderminster Town Council and stand as an Independent in a by-election to see if the voters of Offmore Comberton ward now want him as their Conservative town councillor.

"The Offmore Comberton Liberal Democrat district councillor team would relish the opportunity of fighting a by-election against him - if he has the courage to rise to the challenge."

But Cllr Stooke said the calls were "water off a duck's back".

He told The Shuttle: "I was UKIP for years but I don't agree with the extreme views expressed. Since then I've been independent, but you have to join a party nowadays to have any say.

"Basically the Conservatives are the only ones pushing Brexit. I'm very keen on Brexit."

Asked if he thought Offmore Comberton residents would be concerned about his move to the Conservative Group, Cllr Stooke said: "I wouldn't imagine so. I don't delve into deep politics.

"Cllr Oborski is losing her cool. It's all water off a duck's back."

Cllr Stooke served as Mayor of Kidderminster last year, and was replaced by Councillor David Ross earlier this month.