Hadleigh’s US based councillor finally quits

Brian Riley
Brian Riley
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A Suffolk County Councillor for Hadleigh who refused to stand down from his post even after moving to the US has finally quit.

Brian Riley angered fellow councillors as well as constituents after deciding to remain on the council where he represented Hadleigh, despite moving to North Carolina in March last year.

He was removed from the Conservative Group and sat instead as an independent councillor.

But he eventually quit, just days before he would have been ousted for failing to attend a meeting within six months.

Mr Riley last attended a meeting in February.

When it was first revealed he was moving to the US there was angry reaction from fellow councillors and constituents.

At the time Robert Lindsay, former Green Party parliamentary candidate for South Suffolk, said: “Brian should resign his seat in favour of someone who is prepared to properly represent the people of Hadleigh by living in the area.

“He is cocking a snoop at the democratic role of a county councillor and at the electorate of Hadleigh who voted for him.”

He was also criticised by his fellow Conservative councillors.

Mr Riley claimed he could use the internet to keep in constituents, despite living nearly 4,000 miles away, and originally suggested he would return to the country every six weeks.

A by-election will now have to be held in Hadleigh for the position, despite the seat being contested again next year during the main county council elections.