The controversy surrounding the shock defection of a top Tory to the Independent group at Cornwall Council is intensifying.
Mike Eathorne-Gibbons, previously tipped as a leader of Conservative party in Cornwall, was voted in as a Conservative on May 2 but jumped ship to the Independents ten days later.
The Conservative party called on Mr Eathorne-Gibbons to stand down from his seat in Ladock, St Erme and St Clement and to resign from the Conservative party.
Mr Eathorne-Gibbons has now resigned from the Tories but has no plans to stand down as he claims the votes were for him personally rather than for the Conservative party.
The Conservative party in Cornwall issued a statement which said: "Since the Chairman's earlier statement on the controversy surrounding Cllr Mike Eathorne-Gibbons he has taken the first step by resigning from the Conservative Party and his resignation has been accepted.
“He now needs to take the second step in resigning his seat in Ladock, St Erme and St Clement and let the electorate decide again in a by-election."
Mr Eathorne-Gibbons' defection to the Independents exacerbated the power struggle at County Hall. The Independents and the Liberal Democrats now both have 36 seats and the Conservatives now have 30 so no party has overall control and negotiations as to who will lead the council are ongoing.