Cockermouth councillor and former Allerdale mayor Len Davies has resigned from the Labour party.

Councillor Davies, who represents the All Saints ward, said he was disillusioned with the party's direction and leadership.

The 72-year-old has been a borough councillor for the All Saints ward since 2011. He is also a Cockermouth town councillor.

He said: "This is not a knee-jerk decision. I've been increasingly disillusioned with the direction of the Labour party and its leadership and the growing influence of momentum."

Coun Davies said he started doubting the direction of the party 18 months ago, when the Workington Labour party was told there would be an all-woman shortlist to replace retiring MP Tony Cunningham.

He said: "That was the start. Then Jeremy Corbyn took over as leader and his views and aims are quite contrary to mine.

"It wasn't an easy decision. I have chosen to become an Independent which means I can put all of my energy into supporting my community and not, in my opinion, being a hypocrite supporting a party which I no longer believe in."

Members of Allerdale council's Labour group said his decision was not unexpected.

Executive member Coun Barbara Cannon said she was disappointed and had hoped he would re-consider.

She added: "Len's decision to leave has nothing to do with any issue he has with the local Labour party. It's frustrating, as if it was something local, we could try to fix it.

"I have had a very amicable conversation with Len and he said he's been feeling like this about national issues for the last year now.

"I had hoped with a bit of quiet reflection he would change his decision but he hasn't. I wish him well but wish he'd come back.

"I haven't detected that there are any others likely to follow his lead."

The resignation is an unwelcome blow for the party, which had only gained an Allerdale majority following the Cockermouth by-election held two weeks ago.

It is not known whether this is the first time a ruling party had gained a majority in a by-election then lost it again before a full council meeting had even been held.

Coun Davies was Allerdale's mayor until May, which was his second year in the role.

He has joined the borough council's Allerdale Independent Group.