An independent councillor has distanced himself from the Merton coalition in a bid to return to the Tories just months before the elections.

Councillor Chris Edge is 'considering his options' and 'would prefer to return' to the Conservative fold after leaving the coalition on Monday.

Coun Edge stands as an independent candidate in the Dundonald ward in Wimbledon after being suspended from the Conservatives in May following a dispute over the election of Councillor Krystal Miller as the borough's Mayor.

He left the party and has stood as an independent candidate ever since.

Coun Edge said: "My preference would be as a Conservative because I am a Conservative.

"Whatever may have happened or not happened I remain a Conservative - I am not going to join the Liberals or anything."

He went on to say that nothing would be decided until the end of the month.

Merton Coalition was formed when four former Conservative councillors, Suzanne Evans, Richard Hilton Rod and Linda Scott left to join UKIP following the acrimonious mayor making meeting.

The quartet, alongside Coun Edge formed the coalition as a voting block last summer following the scism.

UKIP leader Coun Suzanne Evans said: "Chris has been considering his position for quite some time.

"We are a great supporter of Chris and I hope he is Mayor next year, he deserves it. I would support him if he wants to do it.

"I wouldn't blame him for going back, he has my blessing."