The Conservative Party has been criticised after failing to field election candidates in four local authority seats.

With elections coming up on May 2, the Tories have not put forward any candidates in Abbots Langley and Bedmond, Gade Valley and Leavesden wards in Three Rivers district, as well as Stanborough ward in Watford.

Both Three Rivers and Watford operate on a system whereby the electorate votes on a third of the council seats at a time.

This means that on May 2 only 14 wards in Three Rivers, including a by-election in Carpenders Park, will be decided.

The Conservatives will still stand in the other 10 seats, however.

Three Rivers District Council Leader Sara Bedford said: “This is truly shocking. The Conservatives state they would like to run the council, but they are not even contesting enough seats to make that a possibility.”

“The Conservatives did not propose a budget for the council earlier this year.

“In addition, they have not put forward a single idea or plan for any of the major issues facing Three Rivers’ residents.

“They are simply not a credible force in local politics anymore.”

Labour group leader in Three Rivers District Council, Stephen Cox, said: “I can understand them struggling with Brexit but failing to field candidates could be a sign of something fundamentally wrong locally.”

The Conservatives have not responded to requests for a comment.