SPECULATION surrounding Andover’s newest political group continued last week amid talk of a potential new party being formed.

In recent weeks, the Andover Alliance has downplayed talk of a “split” within the group, despite a separate political group being formed on Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC), its councillors lodging a motion of no confidence in its own leader chairing planning meetings, and last week the suspension of three members pending a full investigation.

Now, an email shared with the Advertiser shows one party member claim that “various” members “are in the process of forming a new party.”

Andover town and Test Valley Borough councillor David Coole, who sent the above-mentioned email and is one of the three suspended members, would only say publicly the party’s future is “uncertain”.

He said: “The irrational erosion of consensual leadership and two failed attempts to suspend and expel members, who are following executive committee decisions, confirms the party’s future is uncertain. Hogwash has become part of local government dictum.

“No matter what the party looks like in the future or may be called, many members continue working together and consensually to improve Andover and villages, by delivering the manifesto we stood on and which our residents voted for.”

Andover Alliance also this week confirmed the three suspensions still stand. At a meeting on Wednesday night, it was agreed the three suspended members would have until Wednesday, July 17, to make submissions to provide evidence to refute allegations of bringing the party into disrepute made against them.

Speaking of the talk of a new party being formed, Andover Alliance leader Richard Rowles says he was made aware of the “new party” speculation towards the end of last week.

He added: “We were all hugely disappointed to learn that the three party members under suspension apparently want to leave and form their own party.

“It’s a real shame that after the election they have offered so little time to the party and to both the towns and borough councils.

“Instead they have chosen to spend what is valuable time causing disruption and chaos instead of working with the vast majority of our Andover Alliance elected representatives to bring about positive change to our town, which incidentally is what people voted for them to do.

“Rest assured, the vast majority of our party are determined to get the job done.”