A Conservative councillor who stood down this week has dismissed allegations that there was any link between her resignation and her husband's involvement with the BNP.

Councillor Anne Swerling resigned from her ward of Bushey Heath on Monday morning, a day before the BNP “member's list” was leaked onto the internet.

Mrs Swerling claimed that the reasons for her sudden resignation were personal and that she needed to put her family first.

Mr Swerling said: “There is no link between me having been a member of the BNP and Anne's resignation.

“I made a mistake in joining, I was fed up and frustrated with the Tory Party. I was opposed to the European Union, to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and believed in protecting a home market, but I have never been a racist.

“I resigned from the BNP a good week ago, I had no post in the party at all but didn't like the direction it was moving in. I've also had threatening phone calls last year and I really would rather it not go any further.

“The BNP is a mixed party, there are members of ability and others of poor calibre. It's a controversial group but one that is substantially misrepresented.”

It is thought that a by-election for Bushey Heath will take place in late November.