Cllr Jan Pearson, who has represented Fleet Pondtail ward for a year, announced her shock decision on Saturday.

“My face doesn’t fit and my voice isn’t right and I’ve had enough basically,” she told the News.

Cllr Pearson revealed her reasons for resigning from the Conservative group in a statement to her electorate.

“My reasons for leaving are many but the main one is my face does not fit,” she said.

“It has, for some time now, amazed me that Conservative and past Independents who want things get them through a group decision.

“I have found myself agreeing on and voting for things I do not truly believe in.

“I can no longer do this and I stayed away from the last full council meeting because I do not believe in what they want to do to Fleet town centre.”

Cllr Pearson said she thought Cllr Denis Gotel was right to oppose Hampshire County Council plans for Fleet town centre and did not believe that Cllr Robert Benford should be granted permission for a motor cross circuit on his farm in Odiham.

“I can say these things now without fear of reprimand,” said Cllr Pearson.

“It is such a shame because I joined the Conservative group because I believed them to be the party for people like me who work for a living and were not born with a silver spoon in their mouth. How wrong could I have been?

“I am very sorry to say that some, but not all, the group of so-called Conservatives are only concerned with politics and use their powers to promote themselves.

“As far as I am concerned I feel very strongly that I have been socially excluded from a very exclusive club but I will still work hard to serve the people of Hart.

“I would like to say I probably attend more council meetings than a lot of councillors in the area and I would like to hear from any that say differently.

“I would also like you to know that I will continue to serve you as an Independent councillor on Hart Council.”

The resignation, which came during the Hart Conservative group AGM, is a blow to the Tories, who were jubilant after keeping control of Hart following last week’s local elections.

Cabinet member Sean Holden said Cllr Pearson walked out of the meeting after it was decided the Conservatives would support Liberal Democrat Viv Street if she wanted to become vice chairman of the council.

“Viv Street was in line to become chairman last year but didn’t because her husband died,” said Cllr Holden.

“We felt it was right to give her another opportunity to go through the process.

“Cllr Pearson was also nominated for the post but when we made out decision she walked out of the meeting.

“The problem is she doesn’t live in the district and is going to move at some stage to Doncaster so there was concern that the vice chairman of Hart Council should be living in Yorkshire.

“It was a pity she walked out like that. We are sorry that we can no longer have the benefit of her talents.”

Hart Conservative group spokesman Cllr Mark Fullbrook said: “Thursday night saw Hart Conservatives celebrating what we see as an endorsement of their last 12 months in charge of the council.

“Having taken control of the council last year for the first time in 19 years, we were standing on a record of keeping the council tax down, defending greenfields, cutting waste and standing up to central government.”

Hart Liberal Democrat group leader David Simpson said: “The main issue on the doorstep was dissatisfaction with this year’s huge increase in the council tax together with reduced public services, in particular the recent change in concessionary travel for senior citizens.

“The way Hart Council has been run over the past 12 months, which has even led to members of the controlling Conservative group resigning because of the confrontational style, brings all local politics into disrepute.

“Long serving and now former councillor Peter Carr called the ruling clique control freaks.

“Within days of the election another Conservative councillor, Jan Pearson, has quit the ruling group in disenchantment at their methods.

“Hart has had a year of spin with very little substance, since the new Westminster Wannabes were elected.

“When their relentless press campaign failed and the people complained, as with the closing of public toilets, controlling Conservatives immediately did a U-bend throwing their whole budget into disrepute.

“Now we understand that the spin mistress, Cllr Lorraine Fullbrook, has mounted a coup and is to be the new leader of Hart ousting Cllr Benford after just one year.”