A TORY councillor was removed from the party after allegations arose about debts of more than £50,000.

Earlier this year the Epping Forest Guardian saw documents that showed Deborah Barlow had debts of more than £50,000, owed to various Chigwell landlords.

She was kicked out of the group just over three months after winning election to the council.

Now the Epping Forest Conservatives have confirmed they had no choice but to remove Ms Barlow from the group.

Jonathan Hunter, Chairman Epping Forest Conservatives, said: “The local association is aware that Cllr Barlow is no longer a member of the Conservative Group on Epping Forest District Council.

“This is a decision we support and with the further information which came to light left the group with no other choice as this restricted her ability to serve as a councillor.

“Cllr Barlow is fully aware of the reasons why she was removed from the Group and the evidence to support this.”

Cllr Barlow, a parish councillor since 2016, was recently elected as a Conservative district councillor for Grange Hill on May 6 – but she is now listed as an ‘independent’ on the council website.

The landlords claim any attempt to recoup the debts through the courts has proved impossible.

The Tories have denied Cllr Barlow was kicked out of the party on account of these debts.

One landlord, Gillian Abrams, says she rented her home of 20 years to Cllr Barlow when she had to move to Scotland to care for her ill and blind mother.

The agreed rent for the property in Dickens Rise, Chigwell, was £1,550 per month – Cllr Barlow moved in in January 2016.

However, after paying two more months’ rent, payments stopped entirely.

Another landlord, James Morley, claims his mother – who was at the times 90 years old – lost £7,527 when she rented her home to the councillor to help pay for her own care needs in 2015.

Ms Barlow was contacted for comment.