A NEW party has emerged in the wings at Eastleigh Borough Council, the Daily Echo can reveal.

Three disaffected Lib Dems have crossed the floor to set up the Independent Group of Eastleigh Councillors while firing shots at their former political allies.

Councillors Andy Moore, Dave Broughton and Glynn Davies-Dear say they are unhappy with the national coalition, the decision on tuition fees and local party politics.

The groups refused to name those they felt were to blame for what they called “a crack in the party” but said others may be set to defect.

The walkout was sparked when the party told Cllr Moore he would not be asked to restand and he lost his appeal against the decision.

He said: “I feel better now the rope has been removed from my neck but mostly I am infuriated and gutted.

“I think some people in the group have a problem with the way I do things which gets things done and commands respect.

“Others may well leave soon too as I know there is a lot of bad feeling about the coalition and our MP who has sold us down the river.”

He went on to say he felt he had been unfairly linked to an incident in which Cllr Broughton was found guilty of bringing the authority into disrepute following an incident in The Litten Tree in Eastleigh.

As reported in the Daily Echo, Cllr Broughton got into a row at the pub after demanding to view admittance figures and when they were refused he is alleged to have said, “I have good friends on the licensing panel and I’m going to see that you have your licence revoked”. Cllr Davies-Dear, a former mayor, said he barely recognises the party he joined 30 years ago.

He said: “I used to say to voters ‘trust me, I’m a Liberal Democrat’ how the hell am I supposed to say that now.

“It’s a matter of integrity, you live and die by it.”

Cllr Broughton was unavailable for comment.

An internal email exclusively leaked to the Daily Echo bans other Lib Dems from talking about this issue publicly.

Leader Keith House said: “We all have to go before the approval board, I have done so myself on numerous occasions.

“They look at your performance and any issues of concern and decide if you are to be asked to stand again.”

The shake-up leaves the ruling Lib Dems with 36 councillors, Tories with four, the new party with three and Labour with one.