Northern Ireland

Thomas Hogg: DUP ex-mayor banned from council for drink-driving conviction

DUP councillor Thomas Hogg Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The former mayor was banned for a year for a drink-driving offence

A DUP councillor has been given a five month council suspension after he was convicted of drink driving.

Former Antrim & Newtownabbey mayor Thomas Hogg admitted to drink driving in a court in May 2018.

He was banned from driving for 12 months and fined £250 and was later suspended from the DUP. That suspension has now been lifted.

On Monday, Mr Hogg said in a statement that he accepted his sanction and was "deeply sorry" for his behaviour.

He added: "My conduct let down my constituents and party. It was wrong and will not happen again".

The DUP said: "We suspended Councillor Hogg for eight months. That suspension has now been lifted".

The party added: "We note the sanction, Councillor Hogg's fulsome apology and his commitment to ensure this behaviour is never repeated".

Hogg, 30, was elected as a DUP councillor in 2011. He served as mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey for two consecutive years from 2014.

He was made an MBE in the 2016 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to local government.

'Disrepute'

The investigation into Mr Hogg's conduct was being carried out by the Local Government Ethical Standards directorate.

On Monday, the Local government Commissioner for Standards released a statement confirming the suspension had been imposed.

The statement added that Mr Hogg had "breached the local government code of conduct which states that councillors must not bring their position as councillor, of their council into disrepute.

They confirmed that the suspension will begin on Monday 4 February and will continue until the end of Thomas Hogg's term of office.

Elections for Northern Ireland's 11 councils are due to take place on 2 May.

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