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Gosport mayor Wayne Ronayne quits after being banned from town's pubs and clubs
THE mayor of a Hampshire town said he stood down after being banned from 36 pubs to avoid bringing the office into “disrepute”.
Wayne Ronayne stood down as Mayor of Gosport after just 40 days, after being banned following an incident at a town pub just hours after his mayor-making ceremony.
Pub Watch in Gosport banned the new Conservative mayor from all 36 of the town's pubs after he visited The Star in the town's High Street on June 4, with MKayoress Paula Carter and friends.
The mayor and a group of friends, including Mayoress Paula Carter, were asked to leave the pub and police were eventually called.
It was alleged an argument broke out and that Ms Carter had told staff at The Star they could have the pub closed, before saying the same thing to staff at nearby Nelsons Bar minutes later when they refused them entry.
She was given a 12-month Pub Watch ban, while Cllr Ronayne was handed a six-month ban.
And he has now stood down as Mayor following an unsuccessful appeal against the ban.
In a statement announcing his resignation, Cllr Ronayne said: “It is with much regret that I inform you that I will be standing down as the Mayor of Gosport with immediate effect.
“It is a great personal disappointment to me to have to make this decision in the light of the much publicized events that followed my Mayor Making Ceremony on 4 June 2014.”
He added that his decision was not based on any admission of wrongdoing or being unable to carry out his role as Mayor, but followed the “now damaging public perception of me” that was caused by coverage of the incident on June 4.
He continued: I do not wish to bring the position of the Mayoralty into disrepute nor tarnish the good reputation of Gosport.
“I will have to work hard to recover the damage to my reputation and I would not wish to be responsible for exposing the mayoralty to further public and media speculation whilst in the midst of the effort to clear my name.
“I would like to say thank you to all those who have given their support to me and the Mayoress during a testing period for us both.”
Borough council leader and fellow Conservative Mark Hook said: “Wayne is a man of high principles and standards.
“It was right for him to appeal but after the decision went against him he has chosen to step down.
“This shows the character of the man, he has always put Gosport first.
“Wayne is a first class councillor and will continue to represent the people of Christchurch ward.”
A spokesman for JD Wetherspoon, which owns The Star, said: "From our point of view, whether you're the mayor of Gosport or a regular person, if they behave badly we do not want them back in the pub.