TWO Blackwood councillors have resigned from Caerphilly council’s Labour group with an attack on the council leader.

Councillors Nigel Dix and Allan Rees have also resigned from the Labour Party and say they plan to set up their own political party.

Cllr Rees, who has represented Blackwood since 2014, criticised the way the Caerphilly group was run, saying "nepotism and cronyism is rife".

Council Leader Keith Reynolds said that he regretted their “mistaken” decision to quit the Labour party and called for the councillors resignation because they were elected to represent Blackwood as Labour councillors.

In a letter, cllr Rees wrote: “The majority of the cabinet currently in place have been around for close to 15 years, propping up a leadership that's too dependent on paid executives advice and direction.

“You can't shift them, they have their cosy positions which I think are more ceremonial than fulfilling the role they are supposed to.

“The council Labour cabinet is far from diverse or representative of the local population and combined in age I wouldn't be surprised if they were the oldest cabinet in Wales.

“It's not how much potential or talent you have in Caerphilly Labour Group, it's how subservient you are and that you won't rock the boat.”

Cllr Rees said that he wants to bring in a “fresh, new approach” to local government politics and run as an independent for Blackwood, alongside cllr Dix.

They have appealed to individuals who may want to stand for one of the council seats as an independent to join them.

Cllr Dix said that the Labour party he joined, campaigned for, and represented over many years, no longer exists.

“Cllr Rees and I will carry doing what we have always done by putting the residents of Blackwood first, just as we did when opposing the councils LDP, a tax payer funded cinema, fighting to open Blackwood Gate retail park and speaking out about senior officer pay award,” he added.

A Labour group spokesman said: “These resignations are the worst kind of vanity, gesture politics.

“As for cllr Rees’s bizarre criticisms of our Labour group’s leadership, he’s fully aware that our leadership has been elected for the last three years with a strong mandate from Labour group members.

“Cllr Rees’s remarks are, sadly, sour grapes from a semi-detached member of our united Labour group.”

The spokesman also called Caerphilly County Borough Council “one of the most effective in Wales” and that Labour was united in Caerphilly, Wales and Britain.

“We’re sorry to lose these two members, but Labour will go on from strength to strength, speaking up for working people’s interests," he added.