A Suffolk county councillor says she stands by her comments on special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) services that saw her suspended by her party.

Sam Murray, who represents Whitehouse and Whitton in Ipswich, called for resignations or sackings at Conservative-run Suffolk County Council in the wake of a damning Ofsted report into SEND provision in the county.

Mrs Murray, a mother of a child who has special needs provision, revealed she had been suspended by the Conservative group via email in a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Friday evening.

In a statement published on Friday morning, Mrs Murray, who is also an Ipswich borough councillor, said there was "certainly a lack" of leadership regarding SEND at Suffolk County Council.

She also said "a political resignation or sacking needs to happen" and called on the council's leadership team to decide who should be removed from their posts.

Speaking to this newspaper after her suspension was confirmed, Mrs Murray said: "I may be a councillor, but I am a mum too. 

"I've been accused of breaking group rules. There is a process now and we have to go through it, but I hope my colleagues can allow me back into the party.

"I represent an area with a high level of SEND and I have a lot of SEND casework. I've done as much as I can behind the scenes.

"It's sad that it has come to this. I'm certainly not standing down as a councillor. But I am gutted.

"I said what needed to be said and I stand by it. I'll take whatever comes my way."

After the Ofsted report was published, Suffolk County Council leader and Conservative group leader Matthew Hicks apologised to families with SEND needs.

Ipswich Star: Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council leaderMatthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council leader

He said: "We know we’re not doing well enough yet, there’s a lot more to do, and we are very sorry to the children and families that haven’t had the service they deserve.

"We are aware the service is not in the position we want it to be in."