Cllr Matthew James who represents St Marys and Summercombe Ward on Torbay Council has resigned from the Conservative Party to sit as an independent.

He says:

"The recently announced plan by the government to look at removing housing benefits from everyone under the age of 25 was the final straw and is something that I, as a young person, cannot support."

Cllr James says that  he "will probably still support much of what the Conservative group puts forward" and adds: "I would like to apologise to the voters who voted for me because I was the Conservative candidate. "

Asked about standing resigning his seat to fight a byelection he said he though this would be unreasonable as it would cost the Council Taxpayers £6,000.

Of course I disagree with Cllr James about Housing Benefit  – as do 80% of people according to a Populus poll I saw this morning.  But the polite and apologetic manner of his resignation is rather disarming.