FORMER Trowbridge mayor Tom James has resigned from the Liberal Democrats after nearly 20 years’ service, in protest at not being put forward to sit on the new Wiltshire Council.

Just three weeks after he was recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours with an MBE for services to local government Cllr James has left the party, saying he feels angry and disappointed at not being selected to take up a role in the new unitary authority.

“I think I have been a loyal Liberal Democrat, for 20 years in June for the town council,” said Cllr James who serves on both the town council and West Wiltshire District Council.

“I think I have done the job well, or as well as I can for an idiot.

“I feel as though I have been sacked and I don’t understand why.”

Before Christmas Cllr James applied to stand for the Adcroft ward for Trowbridge, a nomination which was won by Cllr Nick Blakemore.

He then put himself forward for the Central ward, where he lost out to the current Trowbridge mayor Cllr John Knight.

Cllr James was thrilled to receive his MBE earlier this month but is upset that in the week it was announced he was to receive the honour he also found he wouldn’t be standing in the elections for the new Wiltshire Council.

He said: “It was almost like it (the MBE) was a going away present.”

Cllr James said he is going to focus on his family and consider whether he will put himself forward as an Independent in June.