Tyne & Wear

Newcastle Lib Dem candidate is found dead

Neil Hamilton
Image caption Mr Hamilton was described as a "thoughtful and gentle man"

A Liberal Democrat council candidate in Newcastle has been found dead.

Neil Hamilton, 66, who was standing in the Westerhope ward of the city, was found at his home on Thursday afternoon, a party spokesman said.

David Faulkner, leader of Newcastle City Council, said Mr Hamilton was a "conscientious councillor who will be greatly missed."

Mr Hamilton served as ward member for Westerhope from 2004-10. The vote will be postponed and a by-election called.

In accordance with electoral rules, a by-election has to be called within 35 working days of polling day.

Newcastle City Council said this would take place on 16 June.

The local election for Byker has also been postponed due to the death last week of candidate Alice Gingell. This by-election will also take place on 16 June.

Mr Faulkner said: "Neil was thoughtful and gentle man and a conscientious councillor who will be greatly missed.

"Whatever the result of today's elections, it will be overshadowed by Neil's death."

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