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DUP chiefs to ask Queen to strip shamed Thomas Hogg of MBE

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DOWNFALL: Thomas Hogg during his time as mayor

DOWNFALL: Thomas Hogg during his time as mayor

DOWNFALL: Thomas Hogg during his time as mayor

Senior DUP party officers are to ask the Queen to strip paedophile ex-mayor Thomas Hogg of his MBE, Sunday Life can reveal.

A letter formally requesting Hogg that have his title removed will be sent once he is sentenced at Belfast Magistrates Court this week.

The 32-year-old was convicted at the same court last week on a single charge of inciting a boy under 16 years old to engage in sexual activity in September 2019.

Hogg sat as a DUP councillor on Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and twice served as mayor.

He resigned from the council and the party after it was revealed he was facing child sex charges.

Hogg was also accused of further charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and of sexual communication with a child, but these were withdrawn during a hearing of the case in December 2019.

DUP sources said the party cannot ask for the MBE, awarded in 2016 for services to local government, to be revoked until the case has concluded.

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The Queen awards him his MBE

The Queen awards him his MBE

The Queen awards him his MBE

According to the Cabinet Office, an honour can be withdrawn, in a process known as forfeiture, for a variety of reasons.

These include being "found guilty of a criminal offence, behaviour which results in censure by a regulatory or a professional body, or any other behaviour that is deemed to bring the honours system into disrepute".

A request to have an honour stripped from a recipient is heard by the Forfeiture Committee, whose recommendation is then referred to the Queen by the Prime Minister.

Should Hogg's MBE be revoked, a formal notice announcing the decision will be published in the Belfast Gazette.

He will also be asked to return the insignia to Buckingham Palace and will be barred from making any future reference to having the honour.

Hogg is believed to be living in London and working for a wealth management firm. He fled his home in the Ballysillan area of north Belfast following a death threat from the South East Antrim UDA after the case against him was revealed.

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