VOTERS have called for a local councillor to ‘stand down’ after defecting to the Labour Party without making an official statement to the public.

Coun Trevor Smith, who represents the Darfield ward, was elected as part of the Democrats and Veterans Party with significant backing from residents.

As the party became defunct in the area, Coun Smith was asked to join Labour which he later accepted.

A local resident, who wished to remain anonymous, has been disappointed with the lack of transparency with the councillor’s decision to switch and feels ‘let down’ by the move.

He told the Chronicle: “We feel that he has jumped ship to Labour without telling anyone as to why he has done this.

“Believe me, his canvassers are so upset because they believed in his manifesto. It’s shocking that he’s done this and has not announced this anywhere other than on the council’s website.

“The village want answers as to why he has done this. I think he should instead run as an independent councillor if the party is non-existent in the area.”

Coun Smith told the Chronicle he was left with ‘no choice’ but to change parties after his fellow Democrats and Veterans councillors defected.

He told the Chronicle: “No matter what party I currently represent or have represented in the past, I have always done the very best for the people of Darfield.

“The move to Labour was a necessity because unfortunately the Democrats and Veterans Party became non-existent in the borough.

“As a councillor, it’s essential to have alliances and other councillors you can trust to get the work done quickly and efficiently.

“Once I agreed to join the Labour Party, doors were opened which were usually closed to me and I could be an even better councillor than before.

“I had made it clear to many constituents about my move to Labour and I’m very willing to talk to people who have any questions or concerns.

“My main priority has always been the Darfield community and I feel with the help of my fellow ward councillors, we have made major steps already to supporting and tackling issues within our community.”