The Conservative Association's attempt to evict its own offshoot social club from its Surbiton premises was brought before Kingston County Court on Monday.

The association claims the club should move out of the property in Ewell Road which was sold to developers in February. But the club says it will not budge and has accused the association of reneging on a verbal agreement.

The club, which is run separately from the association itself but forms part of the "Conservative family", will now attempt to call an emergency general meeting of the association to fight eviction.

It had all but five of the 150 signatures required for the call-in as the Comet went to press.

Club members said the eviction would cost four jobs and cost the local community a valuable licensed amenity.

The row between the two has raged since the proposed sale of the Ewell Road asset, which is also Conservative headquarters in the borough, was agreed in April last year. It has been brought to a head after an AGM voted two to one to accept a £750,000 offer from developers.

But club treasurer Tim Brown said the club has generated £10,000 a year for the association and gave £30,000 for roof repairs.

He said: "This is not a simple landlords and tenants situation.

"The Ewell Road property has been home to the Conservative Club since 1968 and this is not a simple case of possession. We are working on a full and robust defence."

One of the key points of the club's argument is that when the two parties renewed the lease for 10 years in 2001 it was agreed a break clause would only be used to adjust rents.

But when a sale was agreed last year, the club was told the break clause would be implemented, meaning either side could end the agreement after three years. The club was served with an eviction notice when the lease ran out last month.

Monday's hearing between the club and the association-owned Surbiton Property Company was adjourned for a month while the club puts together its case against eviction. Until then, it will continue to trade as normal.

Chairman of the association Keith Witham said: "The club has known for 14 months that the association wants to sell the premises and was under notice to quit on June 24.

"It has had a good amount of time. If it wants to call the decision in, I will deal with that request as and when it is received."

How did it come to this?

1968 - Conservative Club moves into 200 Ewell Road Surbiton, a Victorian building dating back to the 1880s. The tenant is the Kingston and Surbiton Conservative Association.

1998 - The Conservative Association sells Birkenhead House in Kingston for £250,000, leaving the property in Ewell Road as its only remaining asset.

November 2002 - Rumours of a possible Ewell Road sale are denied by the association.

April 2003 - The Conservative Association, via Surbiton Property Company, announces plans to sell its Ewell Road headquarters and gives notice to the residing Surbiton Club.

February 2004 - AGM votes two to one in favour of a £750,000 sale, but the club is still opposed and says it will not go.

June 24, 2004 - Club exceeds the final date for vacating and the association serves it with an eviction notice.

August 2, 2004 - Club and association go head to head at Kingston County Court. Case adjourned for one month.