A FORMER mayor of Trowbridge who was kicked out of the Conservative Party has joined the Liberal Democrats.

Cllr David Cavill was welcomed into the South West Wiltshire Lib Dem Group by the town council's leader Cllr Stewart Palmen, who said: "We would like to welcome a new councillor to the Lib Dem group.

"David Cavill is a former mayor of Trowbridge and has been working to make Trowbridge better as a councillor for sometime.

"He was instrumental in setting up and running the very successful Celebrating Trowbridge event in 2019."

Alongside two other town councillors, Peter Fuller and Diana King, Mr Cavill resigned from the local Tory Group last July to sit as Independent councillors after they objected to "misleading public statements and unwarranted criticism of the council’s members and officers" by the Conservative Group's leader Cllr Antonio Piazza.

Within a few days they were reported to the South West Wiltshire Conservative Association and were suspended and later expelled from the party's membership by its executive.

Following a successful appeal by the three conservative councillors against SWWCA's decision to expel them, Mr Cavill has decided to join the Liberal Democrats.

Mr Cavill, 78, said: "I am not ambitious for political power but I like to bring forward ideas and suggestions to the decision making process and this extraordinarily badly handled issue by SWWCA has permanently damaged my confidence in the Conservative Party.

"Added to this, although I accept and will work with the result of the Brexit vote, I was always a committed European and have concluded that I will feel more comfortable elsewhere.

"I want to continue to help develop the environment of Trowbridge, Wiltshire and the well-being of its residents so I have taken the decision to formally join my friends in the Liberal Democrats.

"I have always tried to work effectively with all my fellow councillors and I will continue to do so."

Mr Cavill, who represents Paxcroft Ward, said the disciplinary sub-committee of the Board of the Conservative Party had found the trio were entitled to become a separate group on the council and that SWWCA’s procedure was flawed, the conclusions reached were wrong, and the sanctions disproportionately harsh.

Cllrs Fuller and King are still sitting as Independents. It is understood that Cllr Fuller intends to stand down from Wiltshire Council at the next local elections, but will fight to retain his town council seat, while Cllr King intends to stand down from the town council.