Councillor re-elected after drink-driving conviction

A DUP candidate who was convicted of drink-driving has won back his council seat with an increased vote.

Thomas Hogg, 30, a former mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, was re-elected to the Macedon DEA on the first stage of the count with 999 votes.

That was almost double the 581 votes he received in the last local government election in 2014.

Speaking to Press Association, he said: “I am delighted with the results that we have received. The party has retained three seats in the area and I am particularly pleased that my own vote has increased by over 400 votes.

“The party’s strength in the area is based on hard work and I hope that my result is a reflection of the record of delivery by the party in the area.

“I am grateful to my colleagues and constituents for their support and I look forward to representing the area with renewed vigour and enthusiasm over the next four years.”

He also took to social media to express his delight, saying he was “overwhelmed” to have achieved his largest ever share of the vote.

Mr Hogg was handed a 12-month driving ban and a fine after admitting drink-driving in Belfast last May.

The Local Government Commissioner for Standards suspended Mr Hogg as a councillor for five months.

He was also suspended by the DUP for eight months over the matter.

Mr Hogg issued an apology at the time, saying: “My conduct let down my constituents and party. It was wrong and will not happen again.”

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