CASTLEDERG UUP councillor, Andy McKane, has announced he is stepping aside from his seat at the end of this month.
Mr McKane had been co-opted on to Derry City and Strabane District Council after the UUP’s member for the Derg area, Derek Hussey, was disqualified for 15 months from sitting on the local authority.
While Mr Hussey’s suspension is due to end today, the UUP has yet to confirm whether he will return to the seat once Mr McKane steps down on October 31.
When contacted by the Strabane Chronicle today, Mr Hussey said he had heard nothing from the UUP headquarters and so could not comment.
Meanwhile, clarifying the circumstances around his decision to step aside, Mr McKane said, “Legally, I would be quite within my rights to remain in the seat until the next election. That said, I am conscious that I was not elected to the seat and it may be the opinion of some that I took something that wasn’t mine.
“Therefore I feel the honourable thing to do is to step aside and maintain my integrity which I see as vital when acting as a public representative. The party will decide who represents the Derg DEA.”
He added, “Could I take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support. It was an honour to represent the Derg DEA this past 15 months.”
A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council confirmed that it had been informed the Chief Electoral Officer of notice received of resignation from the UUP councillor for the Derg DEA.
The spokesperson added that the council will then be informed by the Chief Electoral Officer of the nominee for the vacant Derg DEA seat.