THE election of a new Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council chairman triggered an abrupt resignation by a councillor who claimed council rules had been flouted.

Angel Kershaw walked out of the parish council's annual meeting following the election of Cllr David Mahon, who defeated sitting chairman Cllr Gary Swallow in the vote.

During the meeting Ms Kershaw said standing order 21, which forbids councillors from canvassing for votes in these elections, had been broken, but the parish council said it has no knowledge of any wrongdoing.

Commenting immediately after Cllr Mahon was voted into the post at the meeting, Ms Kershaw said: "I am leaving. I have some integrity and I disapprove of backstabbing.

"I know what has been going on, and I do not agree with standing order 21 being disregarded."

Ms Kershaw then left the meeting, and shortly afterwards confirmed her resignation. She had been on the parish council for six years.

She was chairman for six months, and also served as council vice chairman and chairman of the council's environment committee.

Commenting after the meeting she said: "I'll still be involved in my community and the Haworth Village Hall committee have asked me to remain on this committee.

"I'll also remain involved with the Friends of Haworth Park and The Haworth Village Trust."

Also responding after the meeting, parish council clerk Lisa Balderstone said: "Ms Kershaw has informed me of her resignation with immediate effect and requested no further contact from the parish council.

"I'm not aware of any inappropriate behaviour or breach of standing orders by Cllr David Mahon, or any of our members for that matter.

"If Ms Kershaw had any real concerns of this nature, I would have expected her to raise these with me in advance of the meeting, or at the very least raise them prior to the election of the chairman taking place.

"As it was, she waited until after the vote had taken place before voicing any concern and left the meeting, leaving us no opportunity to discuss the matter.

"Ms Kershaw has made it very clear she expects no further communication from the council, offering nothing to substantiate her claims."

Following the meeting, ex-chairman Cllr Swallow said he was concerned that Cllr Mahon did not have the necessary experience to be chairman, having only been on the parish council for about 18 months.

Cllr Swallow said he would have preferred Cllr Mahon to have first served a stint as vice chairman.

Cllr Mahon responded: "I'm very pleased to have been elected chairman for 2018/2019.

"I am already very active within the community and am honoured that members have selected me as their chairman.

"I've extensive experience of working with all tiers of local government, including town and parish council, during my time in the Police Service.

"Now in retirement, I have the time and energy to devote to the parish council.

"I'm committed to working with the clerk and fellow councillors to ensure we achieve the best possible deal for our community, during difficult times.

"We're lucky our members have a variety of skills and experience. During the coming year my priority will be to ensure we work closely together, complementing one another's strengths."