A ROW over who should stand in Westhoughton at next year’s local elections has led to a Conservative town councillor becoming and independent.

Cllr Pat Allen will now stand alone on Westhoughton Town Council after an argument with Cllr Martyn Cox.

She has accused him of being "nasty" and using "bullying tactics" — dismissed as "silly" accusations by Cllr Cox.

It follows a row over who should stand in the Bolton council elections next May in the most competitive Westhoughton North and Chew Moor seat.

Cllr Allen — whose husband Bob is a councillor for Heaton and Lostock — is unhappy as she believes former Westhoughton councillor Christine Wild has been chosen to stand in the seat in May.

However the Conservative leadership has insisted no one has been formally selected.

Cllr Allen said: “I’ve been a Conservative since I was in school and had blue bands in my hair.

“I’ve helped out in three general elections and several local elections, but Martyn decided he wanted to be in charge and he arranged who he wanted to be the next person to stand in Westhoughton North and Chew Moor.

“I feel very hurt and annoyed in equal measure. I think he’s used bullying tactics.

"Theresa May called us the nasty party, and this has all been a bit nasty.

"I’ve been a councillor in Westhoughton before, that’s the sad thing, and I know I worked hard there.”

Cllr Allen said she would continue to help her husband when he is up for election again in 2015, and would also work hard to campaign for Conservative candidate for Bolton West Chris Green, who is standing in the general elections.

Cllr Cox denied using bullying tactics.

He added: “People who know me will know that is not true. It’s a shame that Pat has chosen to defect and I don’t wish to have a row with her.

“It’s not up to me who stands — obviously people will ask me and I will give my opinion, but ultimately it’s the executive who decide.

"Christine Wild has not been selected, and it’s really not fair on Christine for her to be brought into this.

"We don’t have ferocious battles for who is going to be a councillor. It’s a luxury for political parties to have a selection of candidates these days.”