NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

'Legogate' row Aberdeenshire councillor Martin Kitts-Hayes stands down

Martin Kitts-Hayes Image copyright Aberdeenshire Council
Image caption Martin Kitts-Hayes returned from Denmark early

The co-leader of Aberdeenshire Council who returned home early from a foreign conference because he was unhappy with his accommodation has stood down as a councillor.

Martin Kitts-Hayes said recent personal abuse had put an "intolerable strain" on himself and his family.

Mr Kitts-Hayes had been due to attend the North Sea Commission at Legoland in Denmark in June.

But the delegation returned early as he was unhappy with the cabin-style rooms.

Mr Kitts-Hayes had already announced he would step down from senior positions - as co-leader of the council and chairman of the policy and resources committee - after an ensuing row which some have dubbed "Legogate".

However, in a statement on Wednesday, he said : "I wish to announce that I have decided to stand down as a councillor with immediate effect and have informed the provost and chief executive.

"Recent events have placed an intolerable strain on my family with personal abuse continuing unabated even after I resigned as co-leader of the council on Monday.

"Being a councillor is just not worth the effort.

"I do not intend to make any further comments and ask that my privacy, as a member of the public, is respected."

The abortive trip to Denmark cost nearly £3,500.

The full council is due to consider an internal report - which revealed last week that Mr Kitts-Hayes felt his Legoland accommodation was like a "glorified shed" - on Thursday.

Image copyright Legoland

Mr Kitts-Hayes, of the Progressive Independent Group, was the councillor for Inverurie and District and co-council leader with the SNP's Richard Thomson.

Council chief executive Mr Savege is carrying out a further investigation into the actions of those with access to the internal report - which was sent to councillors in confidence - after an earlier leak to the media.

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