Two Conservative councillors who left to join the Liberal Democrats should pay back their members' allowance because of their poor attendance record – their former Tory bosses have said.

Adur councillor Carl English has joined colleague Gavin Ayling in leaving the local Conservative Party and then joining the Lib Dems.

The pair have made much of their move through various statements.

Coun English, through an internet blog, said: “Since my election in 2006, I have found it increasingly difficult to defend Tory policies, locally or nationally.

“On the doorstep, when people have attacked the Tories, I have found myself agreeing with them more and more that Adur is being let down by the Conservative administration."

However their former party bosses are demanding they pay their allowances back because of poor attendance at council meetings and have said that both councillors had been de-selected as Tory candidates for next year's local elections.

Adur District Council leader Neil Parkin and Worthing Borough Councillor Kevin Skepper, who is the chairman of East Worthing and Shoreham Conservative Association, are behind calls for the new Lib Dem members to pay back their allowances.

Coun English and Coun Ayling were yesterday unavailable for comment.