SDLP to take seat after sex assault councillor’s resignation

Brian Duffin. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press.
Brian Duffin. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press.

The SDLP has begun the process of choosing a new councillor for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

It follows yesterday’s resignation by former party member Brian Duffin after he lost his appeal against a conviction for sexually assaulting a teenage girl.

Confirming there will not be a by-election, a spokesperson for the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council said: “Councillor Duffin originally represented SDLP and therefore the party will co-opt a new member in due course.”

The party is now moving to fill the Dunsilly Ward vacancy.

An SDLP spokesperson said: “In these instances, party procedures must be followed. Interested members have been invited to apply, once applications are submitted, due process will be followed to select a successor.”

Duffin (73), who sat as an independent councillor after quitting the SDLP in February, will be sentenced in the new year. On his initial conviction in August, he was handed a four-month jail term.