THE FORMER leader of the Isle of Wight Council, David Pugh, has been elected as chairman of the Island's Conservative Association.

News of Mr Pugh's election was confirmed following the association's meeting in Newport this evening (Thursday).

As previously reported, Mr Pugh's election looked set to re-ignite tensions among local Tories with one senior councillor, Newport West's Chris Whitehouse claiming he would find it 'impossible' to serve as a Conservative if Mr Pugh was elected.

Cllr Whitehouse earlier this week launched a stinging attack on Mr Pugh, saying his legacy was 'poisonous'.

Mr Pugh became embroiled in rows with the Island's former MP, Andrew Turner, firstly at an infamous Valentine's Day Ball in 2010 and later over the former MP's expenses and Mr Turner's involvement in the controversy surrounding the future of Island Line's rail franchise.

Mr Pugh was elected after the other candidate for the post, the former Mayor of Cowes, David Walters withdrew.