A FORMER Tory Mayor of Hyndburn has resigned from the council and blasted the Conservative leadership.
Respected Winifred Frankland, 60, quit her Overton ward seat in Great Harwood after being snubbed for a high-profile role on the council.
Miss Frankland - who served the authority for 12 years - said she was disappointed that when she stood down as Deputy Mayor last week she was not given a post on the borough's Planning Committee.
Firing a parting shot at council leader Peter Britcliffe, Miss Frankland, of Brantfell Road, Great Harwood, said she had been poorly rewarded for her contribution to civic life.
She revealed she had decided not to stick to an agreement to attribute her resignation to "personal reasons".
She said: "I have had lots of nice comments from Labour councillors and officers. But I have been underwhelmed by support from my own party.
"I said I would keep quiet but I believe there are lots of muppets and puppets in the Conservative group and I'm not one of them. Speaking your mind isn't appreciated.
"I went to the leadership and asked, flexibly, to be considered for some other jobs. I was on the Planning Committee for 10 years and thought that would come back to me. But despite being the new Mayor, Janet Storey is staying on that committee and that's a ridiculous situation. It was the last straw."
Miss Frankland's resignation means there will be a by-election on Thursday 30 June.
One Tory councillor who wanted to remain anonymous said Miss Frankland "spat out her dummy" and quit because she failed to win the Great Harwood seat in the Lancashire County Council elections three weeks ago.
He added her ex-colleagues were angry at having to fight the by-election.
Another high-ranking Tory said: "We hoped she wouldn't react badly to this and go against the line. We all expected she'd win Great Harwood but the voters decided otherwise. She'd said she was resigning next year anyway, and I think she expected us to beg her to stay on. That didn't happen."
Councillor Britcliffe said: "The Conservative group has met in the light of these allegations Miss Frankland has made and are unanimous in this statement.
"We are surprised by the comments. We consider Miss Frankland has been a good councillor for Great Harwood and an excellent Mayor who always received our full support.
"Miss Frankland was chairman of Great Harwood Area Council and of the important Licensing Committee as well as vice-chairman of the Standards Committee, again always receiving 100 per cent backing from the leadership and the group."
He added: "The Conservative group continues to wish her well in retirement."