A Tory councillor has been kicked has been kicked out of the group just over three months after winning election to the council.

Cllr Deborah Barlow has had her whip removed; however, a cloud of secrecy remains above the move, with the Epping Forest Conservative’s unwilling to reveal why.

Cllr Barlow, a parish councillor since 2016, was recently elected as a Conservative district councillor for Grange Hill on May 6 – she is now listed as an ‘independent’ on the council website.

Just over two months ago the Epping Forest Guardian ran a story detailing Cllr Barlow’s debts of more than £50,000, owed to various Chigwell landlords.

The landlords claim any attempt to recoup the debts through the courts has proved impossible, with Cllr Barlow managing to evade bailiffs.

The Tories have denied Cllr Barlow was kicked out of the party on account of these debts.

One landlord, Gillian Abrams, says she rented her home of 20 years to Cllr Barlow when she had to move to Scotland to care for her ill and blind mother.

The agreed rent for the property in Dickens Rise, Chigwell, was £1,550 per month – Cllr Barlow moved in in January 2016.

However, after paying two more months’ rent, payments stopped entirely.

Another landlord, James Morley, claims his mother – who was at the times 90 years old – lost £7,527 when she rented her home to the councillor to help pay for her own care needs in 2015.

Despite securing court orders for payment in April 2016, Mr Morley alleges he has not received any payment.

He also claimed the Epping Forest Conservative group failed to intervene, despite being aware of the issue.

A third landlord, Mr Noor Ali, secured a court judgement order for the repayment of more than £32,000 in unpaid rent and loans in February of 2021. The debts have yet to be repaid.