A HEATH boss has branded councillors "reprehensible" following a political slanging match over NHS changes.
Bill Mayers, chairman of the South Huddersfield Primary Care Trust, blasted councillors for their campaign against health board members David Payne and Judith Powell.
The pair are both non-executive directors of the South Huddersfield trust.
Former Kirklees councillor Mr Payne and Meltham Town Council chairwoman Ms Powell are Liberal Democrats.
They voted for the recent hospital changes - a move diametrically opposed to the Liberal Democrat position of no changes.
In a cross-party clash at Wednesday's full Kirklees Council meeting Mr Payne and Ms Powell were savaged.
Tories and Labour councillors lined up to attack the pair.
Tory group leader Clr Robert Light said he found their vote "staggering".
Labour representatives accused the Lib- Dems of hypocrisy.
And Lib-Dem deputy leader Clr John Smithson cut the pair loose, saying he had no hesitation in condemning anyone who didn't toe the party line.
He added: "It is to our shame and their shame."
But today Mr Mayers defended the bruised pair.
He said: "I find it reprehensible that politicians of any party should attempt to discredit any individual who has clearly and publicly acted in accordance with their statutory appointment.
"I know that Judith Powell and David Payne approach their tasks thoughtfully and diligently."
Mr Mayers went on to say in a statement that he believed they acted in the best interests of the public.
He said they were chosen as non-executive directors for their skills, knowledge and experience.
Mr Mayers added: "When appointed, they are bound by NHS governance arrangements.
"These require them to act independently of their political appointments or allegiance."