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A Labour councillor has quit Westhoughton Town Council, criticising the controversial £300,000 grant to Asons solicitors and calling upon Bolton Council leader Cliff Morris to resign, while a second councillor has been kicked off the council for failing to attend.

The growing scandal has now engulfed Westhoughton Labour after all three of the party’s borough councillors SUPPORTED the £300,000 grant.

Barbara Dodds, who was elected to the Wingates ward in 2015, confirmed her resignation in an e-mail to her Labour colleagues on December 8.

In the e-mail she said: “It is with regret that I am resigning as ward councillor. I appreciate that it is a difficult time but I feel the residents of Wingates need representing and I am unable to attend any of the said meetings.

“I am also disappointed for the granting of £300,000 to a solicitors is not the best way to spend tax payers money when the budget has been squeezed so much over the last few years. I feel the priorities have been muddied and agree that the leader should resign over this decision.”

A second Labour councillor was disqualified from continuing as a town councillor for the Daisy Hill ward after failing to attend meetings for more than six months.

Cllr David Wilkinson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Westhoughton Town Council, said: “I am saddened to hear that Wingates will be losing Barbara but her comments about Bolton Council’s grant to Asons are in line with the thinking of many residents of Westhoughton and across the whole of Bolton.

“Barbara’s straight talking about the Asons issue highlights the secrecy with which Cliff Morris handled this waste of public money and the failure of Labour’s councillors who have backed the grant.”