Hadleigh councillor Brian Riley remains unrepentant about his plans to move to the US
- Credit: Archant
Former Conservative councillor Brian Riley has insisted he will not step down from Suffolk County Council despite the row that has blown up over his plans to represent Hadleigh from his new home in North Carolina.
Following our revelation of his plans this week, Mr Riley has come under increasing pressure to resign his county council seat to allow a by-election to be held on May 7, general election day.
However he insisted he still has no plans to resign from the county – his seat is not due to come up for re-election until May 2017.
He has already been thrown out of the Conservative group at the county council, and has been asked to explain his plans to the management committee of the South Suffolk Conservative Association next week.
They have the power to throw him out of the party if they feel he has brought the Conservatives into disrepute.
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However Mr Riley, the father of Sky Sports presenter Kate Riley who joined him to celebrate his election victory in 2013, said he had found support for his plans among people he met in Hadleigh.
He said: “I’ve had people coming up to me in the street telling me I’ve done a good job for them at the county council and if I think I can continue doing that from my new home, then they wish me good luck.
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“There have been one or two who have said they feel I ought to stand down – that’s their opinion – but I reckon about five out of seven people have said they’re prepared to see how I get on.”
Mr Riley is being contacted by county council leader Mark Bee and monitoring officer Tim Ryder – and both are expected to tell him that it would not be possible for him to carry out his duties as a councillor from 4,000 miles away, even if he does return to the UK on business every two months.
But he had not reconsidered his plan to remain a councillor after his move: “I’m going ahead with my plans. I think it can be done – we shall see what happens,” he said.