THE president of Clayton-le-Moors Conservative Club is to offer his resignation after it was revealed he signed the nomination forms of a rival candidate.
Jim O'Brien, of Barnes Street, Clayton, agreed to sponsor Independent Nick Collingridge who was a shock winner in the ward in the council elections held earlier this month.
Under Tory Club rules members are not allowed to support non-Conservative candidates in election campaigns.
The Observer investigated the matter after receiving an anonymous tip-off.
A spokesman for the club confirmed that had the matter been taken before the committee Mr O'Brien could have had his club membership taken away.
And when we approached Mr O'Brien, who has been president for three years, he said he would immediately offer his resignation.
He said: "I will be resigning because I do not want my club to get in any trouble.
"In the rule book it says I have to be a Conservative but all I did was sign to say Nick was an honest man."
Councillor Collingridge said: "This is a bit silly as if you have a decent man in a role you hang on to him.
"He did not do any election work on the day so there was no conflict of interest there. He is a good man and I have known him for a number of years."
Ex-councillor Tim O'Kane, who had held the seat for Labour until the election, said: "This situation has compromised the Conservatives. All I can say is so much for keeping politics out of local elections."
Councillor Peter Britcliffe, leader of Hyndburn Council's ruling Tory group, declined to comment.