A COLCHESTER councillor has defected from the Lib Dems following a long-running feud with a party colleague.

Laura Sykes, councillor for Stanway since 2008, said she was no longer able to work with fellow Lib Dem councillor Lesley Scott-Boutell and her supporters after five years of differences.

Mrs Sykes, whose husband Colin stood down as a councillor before last week’s local elections, will today officially join Highwoods councillors Gerard, Beverley and Philip Oxford in the new Highwoods and Stanway Independent Group.

She said: “I can’t tell you how relieved I feel to leave.

“For years I’ve had to spend longer defending myself than working."

See Tuesday's Gazette for the full story