The Conservative Group lost its status as the official opposition on Oldham Council after the suspension of three councillors by the central party.

The BBC said the suspension of Kamran Ghafoor, Muhammad Irfan and Abdul Wahid was a result of their role in a march on Armistice Day.

Cllr Ghafoor, Cllr Irfan and Cllr Wahid were elected to Hollinwood Ward in the all-out election this year. They are set to sit as an independent group while an investigation is ongoing.

The Conservative Group lost its status as the official opposition with eight seats in the council chamber in comparison to the Liberal Democrats with 10 seats in the council chamber.

The Oldham Times: Howard Sykes

Howard Sykes, the Lib Dem leader, said: "The Liberal Democrats are getting on with the work people expect from us. When people elect Liberal Democrat councillors they know they will get hardworking local champions who will fight all year round for our communities.

"The Liberal Democrats provide a clear opposition to the ruling Labour Group. Our priorities are to get a better deal for residents on local services including for our businesses, schools and our local NHS services, all of which are struggling with the cost-of-living pressures.

"We will continue to stand up to the Labour Group over their unnecessary and unwanted plans to build on the Green Belt.

"While other parties fall apart, we will continue to fight for our communities every day to make Oldham a better place to be."

The march on Armistice Day saw hundreds of thousands take to the capital including protestors and counter-protesters around a month into the conflict in the Middle East. 

The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak condemned the actions of those who were unable to protest peacefully as unacceptable amidst dozens of arrests by the Metropolitan Police.

Here is the make-up of Oldham Council:

Labour Group - 32
Liberal Democrats - 10
Conservative Group - 8
Failsworth Independents - 3
Independent Group (Cllr Ball, Cllr Hince, Cllr Hurley) - 3
Independent Group (Cllr Ghafoor, Cllr Irfan, Cllr Wahid) - 3
Other Independents - 1

The Oldham Times asked Graham Sheldon, the leader of the Conservative Group, for a comment.

Cllr Ghafoor, Cllr Irfan and Cllr Wahid are unable to comment while an investigation is ongoing.

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.