Northern Ireland news

DUP councillor Thomas Hogg convicted of drink driving retains Antrim and Newtownabbey seat

Former Newtownabbey DUP Mayor Thomas Hogg is congratulated by North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds at the Valley Leisure Centre count. Picture - Twitter
Paul Ainsworth

A DUP councillor who was convicted on a drink driving charge has been re-elected to Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

Thomas Hogg, who served as Mayor of the Antrim and Newtownabbey borough from 2014 to 2016, was banned from driving for 12 months in May of last year and fined £250 after admitting to the offence in April 2018.

Then aged 30, the councillor was stopped by police on Belfast's Crumlin Road and a breath test showed he was two times over the legal driving limit. During his court appearance, his lawyer claimed councillor Hogg drove to help a stranded friend in an "act of kindness", and felt "shame and remorse" for his actions.

The conviction led to an eight month suspension from the DUP.

In 2014 Mr Hogg was elected to the new 'super council' with 581 first preference votes - one of three DUP councillors to represent the Macedon Electoral Area.

At today's count in Newtownabbey's Valley Leisure Centre, Mr Hogg was re-elected, almost doubling his first preferences to 999 votes.

Tweeting the result, he wrote: "I am overwhelmed to have been elected with 999 votes - my largest ever. Thank you to everyone who has supported me."

Full results here

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