Belfast Telegraph

Councillor in election probe has quit seat

By Colin O'Carroll

A politician at the centre of a police probe to find out if he breached electoral law has resigned from his seat.

Independent councillor Iain McAfee handed in his resignation to Ballymoney Council on Monday afternoon.

Town clerk John Dempsey confirmed receipt of the letter and said he will now inform the council and the Chief Electoral Officer.

In May Mr McAfee was elected in the Ballymoney Town electoral area, but within days it emerged a complaint had been received by the council about his status. Under electoral law, anyone who receives pay in connection with work for a council in Northern Ireland cannot stand as a councillor.

Mr McAfee was working as a health inequalities officer for the Carrickfergus and Larne areas. It was funded by the Public Health Agency and was on behalf of Ballymena Borough Council.

A probe began and Mr McAfee was interviewed by the PSNI. A file was prepared for the Public Prosecution Service, which has not yet publicly said whether or not it will prosecute Mr McAfee.

But now Mr McAfee, who had voluntarily stepped down from the Co Antrim council whilst the investigation continued, has tendered his resignation from the council.

He said: “As of Monday 26 September I have tendered my resignation as a councillor for Ballymoney Borough.

“The whole scenario around my election has been played out in the Press and television and there is no point going over old ground apart from to say that I am still waiting to hear from the PPS as to whether I am to be charged over this. I, however, wish to again thank all those who voted for me in the election and expressed their annoyance that I am unable to take my seat.”

Belfast Telegraph


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