A COLCHESTER councillor has moved from being a Conservative to an Independent...just weeks after he was elected.

Martin Leatherdale won the Lexden ward in May's local elections after polling 1,416 votes at a Conservative, securing his position by a significant margin.

He got more than twice the votes of his next rival Lib Dem Sandra Cluham who polled 607 votes with Labour candidate Stephen Novy getting 406 votes and Roger Bamforth (Green) 302 votes.

But less than a month after the elections, Mr Leatherdale has now declared himself to be an Independent councillor.

The change was also reflected on Colchester Council's website which shows Mr Leatherdale was a member of the Conservative Party from May 10, 2021 until Sunday.

But Mr Leatherdale then became an Independent from Monday.

Speaking to the Gazette, Mr Leatherdale said it is too early to comment his change of allegiance.

However, he added: "My position is I will serve Colchester and the electorate to the best of my ability and will work for the commercial success of Colchester."

Mr Leatherdale was elected to serve the council for a single year back in 2021 but came up with a full four year term following the elections earlier this month.

Mr Leatherdale is well known in retail sectors and was appointed the new centre manager at Lion Walk Shopping Centre in Colchester in 2019.

Over the past decade, he has developed a robust knowledge of business, leaving a career at Tesco where he led multiple regions, projects and commercial initiatives.