A FORMER Labour councillor who dumped the party is now standing for the Conservatives in May's Worcester elections - and has revealed for the first time why she switched sides.

Pam Clayton, a retired former deputy head teacher at the old Elgar Technology College, says she was left fuming by the use of all-women shortlists.

Mrs Clayton, of Battenhall, was a Warndon Labour councillor from 2004 to 2008 and then stepped down, before later resigning from the party in 2010.

In next month's city elections she is now standing against Labour Councillor Jo Hodges, one of her former colleagues.

Labour used an all-women shortlist in Worcester which led to Joy Squires, a councillor in Arboretum, being selected as the 2015 parliamentary candidate.

Mrs Clayton said: "I was very much against an all-women shortlist, I think when you have one an area is not served properly.

"It's not legal, it's not democratic, we have some very able men and everybody deserves a chance in life.

"Bright young men deserve better, and bright mature men for that matter.

"Everyone deserved a chance. There was no arguments with Labour councillors, I just couldn't accept it."

She also said tuition fees, Labour's policies on elderly care and the Iraq war were other reasons why she quit.

The stance on all-women shortlists re-opens old wounds within the party which surfaced when Cllr Squires was selected.

The fall-out also led to Councillor Marc Bayliss quitting Labour and later joining the Conservatives.

In the Warndon ward, Cllr Hodges has a majority of 572, one of the highest in the city.

UKIP, the Greens and BNP are also putting up candidates for the count, which is on Thursday, May 22.

Mrs Hodges said: "I still have faith in the people of Warndon, people will see Pam's name and recognise it but then will see she's a Conservative.

"I have done a lot of door knocking in recent months and less than 10 people have told me they are voting Conservative."