A UKIP councillor and has resigned from Hampshire County Council.

Cllr Ray Finch, who is also an MEP for the South East, said that he wasn’t able to carry out his role as a councillor for the Bedhampton and Leigh Park ward.

He explained this was due to him carrying out his duties as an MEP, which caused him to miss two full council meetings in the last six months.

As reported in the Daily Echo, he was elected as an MEP in 2014, and previously served as the UKIP group leader on Hampshire County Council.

Earlier this month, he became head of the UK Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy delegation in the European Parliament.

Cllr Finch said in a statement: “This morning I have written to the chairman and chief executives of Hampshire County Council tendering my resignation from my role as the councillor for the Bedhampton and Leigh Park division.

"I am of course sad that I have to do this so close to the new elections for the county coming in May.

“However due to missing the two full council meetings that took place in the last 6 months, both due to carrying out my duties as an MEP for the South East (one a visit to Auschwitz and the other a voting session in the European Parliament) I am unable to continue my joint mandate.

"Happily the chief executive has confirmed that as my resignation comes so close to the full elections there will be no need to cost the taxpayer the expense of a by-election.

"However as that is the case I will continue working as I have done for local residents until the election itself, dealing with constituency issues and working on their behalf as normal - just not taking allowances nor attending council meetings.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Bedhampton and Leigh Park for their goodwill and trust over the past years, and also my colleagues in the UKIP group on the Councillor and the staff and officers of the Council for all their assistance over my term of office".