DUDLEY councillor Adrian Hughes says he will continue to sit as an independent councillor on Dudley Council after being suspended by the Labour Party.

Cllr Hughes, who was elected to serve the Upper Gornal and Woodsetton ward of the borough in May 2022, has lost the whip having been suspended by his party pending an investigation.

Dudley Labour Group said it could not comment on the matter at this stage and that decisions are taken by the regional/national party.

Councillor Pete Lowe, Labour group leader, however, added: “I can confirm that he has been removed from the Labour Group pending investigation by the party.”

Cllr Hughes, who was a member of the council’s children’s services select committee and the overview and scrutiny committee until September, recently moved out of the borough to Preston in Lancashire.

But he has promised to continue to represent his constituents in Dudley until his term of office expires in May 2024.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Conservative-controlled Dudley Council, however, said: “He should do the honourable thing and step down. You can’t represent constituents in Preston.”

Cllr Hughes, aged 33, however, told the News that he will remain available to deal with any issues.

He said: “That doesn’t change. I still represent my constituents. I will attend full council meetings and I’m regularly down in the area to see my children and remain available to help residents with any issues they have.

"I’ve always been a passionate socialist - I care about helping people with issues.”

He said he would not be seeking re-election after his term of office expires in 2024 and he declined to comment on the nature of the accusations that have led to his suspension – saying: “It’s an internal party manner.”

He said he would be “co-operating fully with the investigation”.