Two district councillors have been expelled from the Conservative association amid allegations they made “slanderous and defamatory” comments against fellow members.

Cllrs Roger Reed and Barry Harding – who represent Denham on South Bucks District Council (SBDC) – were kicked out of the Beaconsfield Constituency Conservative Association (BCCA) following a meeting this week.

It is understood the decision was made after the pair issued a statement to the press last year accusing SBDC leader, Nick Naylor, of “buying” the support of councillors Barbara Gibbs and Duncan Smith in relation to plans to build a new multi-storey car park in Gerrards Cross.

However, Tory chiefs have remained tight-lipped over the reason behind the decision.

Cllr Naylor said: “I understand that two councillors have had their party membership terminated by the Beaconsfield Constituency Conservative Association.

“Whilst it is always regrettable to lose councillors from the party, I understand the decision was taken following serious allegations made about the two councillors.

“Notwithstanding this, the district council will continue working hard to deliver first-class services and value for money for all residents across the district.”

The controversial members were suspended from the Tory group last summer amid an ongoing row between the councillors and party chiefs.

BCCA failed to confirm the reasons behind the suspensions – however, at the time, Cllr Harding said he believed he was punished because he voted against council plans to spend £20,000 on legally challenging the creation of a unitary authority in Bucks.

Cllr Reed did not vote on the proposals as he had previously walked out of the meeting after raising concerns that councillors were told not to vote if they did not support unitary plans.

Last month Cllr Harding put forward a vote of no confidence against Cllr Naylor after slamming his “cavalier attitude” towards spending thousands of pounds on legally challenging the government over unitary plans.

Cllr Naylor survived the vote.

Speaking this week, Cllr Harding said he believes Cllr Naylor is “seeking to deflect attention from his own performance as SBDC leader” by expelling him and Cllr Reed.

Cllr Harding said: “Residents will understand that Mr Naylor is seeking to deflect attention from his own performance as SBDC leader, reflected by the fact that 25 per cent of SBDC councillors present at the meeting found it impossible to support him in the recent vote of no confidence tabled at the last council meeting, due to the decision of Nick Naylor and his cabinet using taxpayers money to issue a Judicial Review against the government regarding the new unitary authority.

“Clearly Mr Naylor’s aspirations in removing opposition from within his own party have succeeded.”

Cllr Reed and BCCA have both been contacted for a comment.