A PROMINENT Isle of Wight councillor has resigned, triggering a by-election, which could be held on the same day as the UK General Election.

Chris Whitehouse, who for more than six years has been the Conservative councillor for the Newport West Ward, has today contacted the chairman of the Isle of Wight Council tendering his resignation with immediate effect as he prepares to leave the Isle of Wight behind.

Mr Whitehouse recently served as lead member for children’s services, developing the Island’s school improvement strategy, and more recently as cabinet secretary.

Speaking today, Cllr Whitehouse said: “It is a sad day for me, because it has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve the residents of Newport West Ward and, indeed, the Island more widely; but my house on the Island is under offer, and I won’t be buying another one here.

"It has been a professional and personal pleasure to work with some excellent officers, particularly those on the children’s services team and those leading on public health, their commitment to their work is truly inspirational.”

The chairman of the Island Conservative Association, David Pugh said: “Chris has represented the residents of Newport West with distinction over the past six years, as reflected in his re-election in 2017. We are sorry to see him go and thank him for his service since first being elected in 2013.

"We will be selecting a local candidate for the by-election in the near future, to give Newport West the opportunity once again to choose a Conservative councillor to champion the area at County Hall.

"In the meantime, John Hobart is happy to assist residents with any issues of local concern, until this vacancy is filled.”