Leigh MP stands down as borough councillor

Leigh MP Jo Platt has confirmed her resignation as councillor for the Astley and Mosley Common ward on Wigan Council

Leigh MP Jo Platt has triggered a by-election by standing down from her borough council seat.

As expected, she has stood down as one of Labour's three representatives for the Astley and Mosley Common ward,

Ms Platt said: "Since becoming the Member of Parliament for Leigh, I have been very clear about my intention to step down as councillor for Astley and Mosley Common.

"The best interests of the people and businesses I represent have been paramount in the timing of that decision.

"After consultation, I believe that now is the right time to step aside and allow the people of Astley and Mosley Common to choose a replacement. "

"I was first elected to Wigan Council in May 2012 and I have had the privilege of representing the people of Astley and Mosley Common.

"I have met and worked with some truly wonderful and inspiring people and will continue to do so in my capacity as the Member of Parliament for the constituency.

"I have had the opportunity to work and support some superb community groups and I am eternally thankful to them for the commitment and the hard work they do.

"I would like to extend my thanks to all staff at Wigan Council, in particular chief executive, Donna Hall.

"Donna is testament to all the hard-working staff in the council and is a true role model for women at the top.

"I would also like to thank the Labour group who have supported me throughout my term and specifically the group leader Lord Peter Smith.

"Lord Smith’s support and guidance has been invaluable during my political career and I look forward to working closely with him for the benefit of Leigh."

The MP faced criticism from Leigh's UKIP chairman, Jayson Lomax-Hargreaves, who claimed she said she would relinquish her seat on entering Parliament earlier this year.

But Ms Platt said she had continued in her council role, dealing with residents' queries, alongside her House of Commons responsibilities.

And while she qualified for standard allowances, the MP had claimed no travel expenses since the General Election, it emerged.

Her resignation will be confirmed at a full meeting of Wigan Council tonight, with a by-election scheduled to take place on October 19.

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