A COUNCILLOR has suddenly quit after four years in office, citing "personal reasons".

Chris Wood, councillor for the Stubbington ward of Fareham Borough Council, said he made the decision "with a heavy heart" but did not elaborate on the reasons behind the move.

The Daily Echo understands that Mr Wood is due to start a new job with the Ministry of Defence on Monday.

Originally a Conservative, the 28-year-old switched to UKIP in 2013 before defecting back to the Tories.

In a statement released this morning, Mr Wood said: "I leave my position with a very heavy heart because I have loved being a councillor for the last four and a half years, however circumstances are such that I don’t believe I am able to continue."

Mr Wood moved back to the Conservatives after saying that UKIP had become "toxified".

Fareham Borough Council leader Sean Woodward also confirmed the resignation this morning.

The announcement follows news that he was not chosen by the Conservatives to stand again as their candidate in March of this year to represent Crofton on Hampshire County Council, a seat which he held between 2013 and 2017 for UKIP then the Tories.

He has also previously caused controversy after questioning the BBC for casting a black actor in a "white role" and described Hampshire County Council as "outrageously irresponsible" after it dumped confidential documents in an abandoned building.

A Fareham Borough Council spokesperson said: "The resignation causes a casual vacancy which will remain vacant until such time as two registered electors write to the Returning Officer to request a by-election.

"This will then follow a strict timetable and the poll will be held within 35 working days.

"Until that date UKIP councillor Carolyn Heneghan remains the sole member for the Stubbington ward."

As a result of the resignation, thousands of voters in Stubbington will go to the polls in November to decide who to choose as Mr Wood's replacement while a new deputy mayor will be appointed at Fareham Borough Council's next full council meeting next month.