Sadness as UKIP county councillor resigns

Derek Hackett (left) has resigned from Suffolk County Council.

Derek Hackett (left) has resigned from Suffolk County Council. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk County councillor Derek Hackett has resigned.

Mr Hackett was a member of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and was elected to serve the Lowestoft South ward in May 2013.

Former colleague Bert Poole, UKIP county councillor for Oulton, said Mr Hackett and his wife Penny were moving to Scotland to be near family.

A retired police inspector, Mr Hackett also has a law degree and was a founder member and former chairman and secretary of UKIP's Waveney branch.

Mr Poole said: 'Derek was an incredible councillor. He has got a law degree and was very valuable to the team. He was highly respected by his constituents in south Lowestoft.

'His wife has been ill for some time and he is moving to be near his daughter and he thought this would be the right time to do it.

'We are all devastated. He was a key member of the team and a very good councillor.'

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Bill Mountford, UKIP county councillor for Lowestoft South, said Mr Hackett had always intended to serve just one term and had planned to leave in the spring. However, events had moved quicker than planned and he had decided to leave sooner.

Mr Mountford said: 'It wasn't supposed to happen until spring but everything got ahead of schedule and he thought it would be the appropriate and moral thing to do to resign rather than carry on. He didn't think it was right living north of the border and representing a place in Lowestoft.'

He added: 'He served alongside me as joint councillor for Lowestoft South and I have come to depend on him quite a lot. He certainly will be missed.'

It is understood there will not be a by-election before the main county council election in May and Mr Hackett's seat will remain empty until then.

A Waveney UKIP spokesman said the party's new Lowestoft South candidate would be announced in due course.

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