A DUDLEY councillor has been thrown out of the authority for failing to go to meetings after being suspended by the Labour Party.

Adrian Hughes has been formally removed as a councillor for the Upper Gornal and Woodsetton ward for non-attendance leaving his seat vacant.

Mr Hughes, who was elected in 2022 for Labour, vowed to continue sitting as an independent councillor after a complaint about his behaviour which prompted his suspension in October 2023 and an investigation by the party.

The last meeting that he attended was full council on October 16 in 2023 and councillors can be removed from office if they stay away for more than six months.

Despite not going to meetings, Mr Hughes was still paid his basic councillor’s allowance of £12,143 for the year and the local authority confirmed he has made no formal approach to council officers to not accept or return it.

Kevin O’Keefe, Dudley Council's chief executive and electoral returning officer, said: “The law states that if elected members do not attend meetings continuously for six months, their seat automatically becomes vacant. 

“In this case, the vacant seat will be filled at the forthcoming all-out local elections.

“When members do not attend meetings, they are still entitled to their basic allowance up until they reach the six-month mark. 

“The council has no powers to suspend or reclaim their allowance while they are a serving councillor.”

So far Labour has not made public the results of their investigation or responded to requests for an official update.

Sources within the party told the Local Democracy Reporting Service they believed the enquiry was not yet concluded. 

Mr Hughes, who previously said he would not stand for re-election in 2024, has not responded to a request from the Local Democracy Reporting Service for a comment.