Northern Ireland

DUP councillor Thomas Hogg charged with drink-driving

DUP councillor Thomas Hogg Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption DUP councillor Thomas Hogg has been charged with drink-driving

DUP councillor Thomas Hogg has been charged with drink-driving.

The former mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey was stopped by police on the Crumlin Road, Belfast, on 29 April.

The DUP has confirmed it is aware of the alleged offence, but did not say if it will refer him to the Local Government Commissioner.

"Mr Hogg has notified the party about this matter and it will be considered by the party officers," a DUP spokesperson told the BBC.

Last year, one of his DUP colleagues on Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Trevor Beatty, resigned after he was convicted of drink-driving.

Two weeks ago, Alliance's Newry, Mourne and Down District councillor, Patrick Brown, was suspended from public office for six months for a similar offence.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Patrick Brown referred himself to the Local Government Commissioner

He had been found guilty of drink-driving at Downpatrick Magistrates' Court, and was banned from driving for 12 months and fined £250.

Mr Brown referred himself to the Local Government Commissioner, who examines the standards of local councillors.

His suspension from the council will start on 14 May.

Services to local government

Mr Hogg is due to appear at Laganside Magistrates' Court on 25 May, accused of driving a vehicle with excess alcohol.

The 30-year-old was elected as a DUP councillor in 2011.

The Orangeman served as Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey for two consecutive years from 2014.

He was made an MBE in the 2016 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to local government.

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