A FORMER Conservative councillor who left the party after an alleged row with a colleague has been investigated over claims of “threatening and abusive” behaviour.

Two complaints were filed against Councillor Dave Neave concerning his conduct at a debrief meeting at Telscombe Town Council offices on September 20 last year.

The meeting was about the fireworks on the Tye event.

Lewes District Council leader Andy Smith and Councillor David Wright submitted complaints alleging Cllr Neave behaved in a threatening and abusive manner with his language and actions directed at Cllr Smith.

In her witness statement, included in Cllr Smith’s complaint form, Councillor Gwen Maskell wrote: “Every discussion was carried out calmly until Cllr David Neave stood up, turned to face Cllr Smith and started shouting and aggressively punching his fist at Cllr Smith.

“Cllr Neave shouted at councillor Smith and said ‘I wanted to punch you hard up the a***’.”

The outburst allegedly took place following a dispute between councillors over an email exchange about the fireworks event.

Both complaints also claim that previous emails sent to Telscombe Town Council members by Cllr Neave contained abusive language.

Lewes District Council monitoring officer Catherine Knight investigated the claims.

Cllr Neave, Cllr Smith, Cllr Wright, Telscombe Town Council town clerk Nancy Astley and Telscombe Mayor Joanna Wilkins have all been interviewed as part of the investigation.

The investigation report states that by Cllr Neave’s own admission, he shouted at Cllr Smith, telling him that he had wanted “to shove the email up Cllr Smith’s f****** a***”.

According to the report, he denied using the F-word as much as some witnesses claimed.

He disputes the version of events set out in Cllr Maskell’s statement, in particular her reference to him “aggressively aiming and punching at Cllr Smith”.

The document states: “There is evidence that during these verbal attacks, Cllr Neave was standing and leaning towards Cllr Smith.

“There is some discrepancy in the descriptions of the body language on display.”

The district council’s standards panel will meet on Tuesday to decide whether Cllr Neave breached the authority’s code of conduct and determine whether any action needs to be taken.

Cllr Neave has now defected to the Independent Group on the district council after leaving the Tory Party.

He is also a member of Peacehaven Town Council.

The Argus has attempted to contact Cllr Neave for a comment but had not received a response before publication.