CONFUSION surrounds an investigation into two rebel councillors in Southampton after regional party bosses told them they had been suspended but local enforcers insisted they were still deciding their punishment.

Coxford councillors Don Thomas and Keith Morrell were put under investigation by local party whips in July after they voted against budget cuts to Oaklands Swimming Pool in Lordshill .

It has emerged the pair were this week told by regional party chiefs that the whip has been withdrawn for four months.

But the Southampton Labour group’s chief whip, councillor Cathie McEwing, last night insisted that no decision had been made.

She said an investigation into their conduct had not been concluded and “due process” was being followed. She said the investigation had been delayed due to the summer holidays.

Opposition Tory leader Royston Smith said: “They are being treated appallingly by the Labour party for sticking up for their constituents.”

The Coxford councillors declined to comment on the investigation but Cllr Thomas said he was frustrated at how long it was taking.