A FORMER Labour parliamentary candidate says he has “fallen out with the party” and will be standing as an independent in this summer’s local elections.

Daniel Walton, who ran for the party in the West Worcestershire seat in the 2015 General Election, is standing as an independent after disagreeing with his party’s Brexit stance.

Mr Walton said: “Like a lot of people within the Labour Party, I have fallen out with it somewhat over a number of issues.

“One of those was Brexit. The Labour Party is a pro-European party and the leadership did not handle it well at all.

“At all levels of politics, people have become disillusioned with politics and with politicians so they want someone who can speak for them at a local level.

"I am not going to flip back to Labour straight away if I get elected, I am running purely as an independent.”

Mr Walton, 42, is running for the Broadheath Ward on Malvern Hills District Council, and said he does not feel party politics should influence local issues, adding: “When it comes to representing a rural ward like Broadheath, my stance on Brexit should not really affect how I represent the people who live there.

“So far I have loved campaigning as an independent as I have been out here meeting people and listening to them daily.”

A spokesman for the West Worcestershire Labour Party said: "Daniel Walton is Tenbury Branch Labour Party Membership Secretary and a much valued and active member of the local Labour Party.

"We wish him all the best with his campaign and would look forward to working with him for the benefit of Malvern Hills as a whole if elected."

On the subject of Labour’s Brexit stance, Mr Walton said: “I do not think Jeremy Corbyn has handled it well at all.

“He should have been pushing for a second referendum or to avoid no deal as we need to protect jobs.

“I run a business which, like many others, relies heavily on exporting to Europe.

“I was against holding the referendum at the time and really believe we are better off in the EU for the sake of jobs.”