'I'm sorry' - Mayor suspended after breaking Covid rules

Sue Hacon has been suspended from the conservative party after going out despite a family member being Covid positive

Sue Hacon has been suspended from the conservative party after going out despite a family member being covid positive - Credit: James Bass

A Norfolk mayor has apologised after being suspended from her party for going out despite a family member testing positive for Covid.

It was announced that Great Yarmouth mayor, Sue Hacon, was suspended from the Conservative Group on Wednesday evening at a meeting of the full council.

Council leader Carl Smith, announced Ms Hacon's suspension after stressing that everyone needs to follow "the rules or the guidance".

"I have been informed today that her worship the mayor, who, as you will know, is self-isolating and has a case of Covid in her household, has, unfortunately, gone out today.

"She went to get some medicine for her husband, I believe, from Tesco, but she also went other places as well.

"I can inform the council that I have taken the decision here, as leader tonight, to suspend her from the conservative group and an investigation will continue after."

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Ms Hacon said she was extremely upset and sorry. 

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"I made a mistake, I'm deeply in regret for that," she said.

"Of course I wish I had done something different now.

"Yes, it was going through my mind that it wasn't the right thing to do, of course it did. I'm so upset."

Explaining her actions, Ms Hacon said: "My husband tested positive and I had to go out for [his prescription] medication today.

"I realised while I was out that I might as well do two other little jobs that needed to be done.

"I then went back home to not go out again.

"We don't have family here to help us get things like medication.

"I wore a mask and I have tested negative."

Ms Hacon said she now realises her actions were not sensible but could not say if she will stay on as mayor.

"It was a foolish decision on the day and if anyone had been in my position, with a husband that needed medication they might have done the same."

Asked if she had a message for her constituents, Ms Hacon said: "I'm really really sorry if they feel I have let them down but I did what I thought was best for my family and obviously I was wrong."

Ms Hacon has been mayor since May, having served two years as deputy mayor throughout the Covid pandemic.

Trevor Wainwright, leader of the Labour group on the council said he was “shocked” to hear the announcement.

He added: “As a councillor and as mayor she should follow the advice that we are giving to residents and follow the government guidance.”