A UKIP member has become the third councillor in a week to quit Yarm Town Council.

Mark Chatburn, who also represents Yarm and Kirklevington on Stockton Borough Council, resigned from the town council this morning (Tuesday).

He will remain a borough councillor until the next election and will restand for the town council under the UKIP banner.

Last week Conservatives Chris Johnson and Jason Hadlow resigned from Yarm council after months of infighting and Coun Chatburn said, as there may have to be another election anyway, he resigned to allow the public to decide if they wanted a UKIP councillor.

In a letter to council chair Peter Monck he said: “When I resigned from the Conservative party and joined UKIP last year I decided I was not able in good conscience to resign and thereby inflict the hefty cost of staging an election on to the town and its council.

“However, the recent resignations of two Conservative councillors means a by-election will now be called and the cost of staging this pushed on to the council anyway.

“In view of these circumstances, I therefore consider the only honourable thing to do is to offer myself up for re-election under a UKIP banner.”

He said he was not resigning from the borough council until the next election because a by-election in the borough council would cost even more to the public purse.

A by-election for the posts will be held if ten electors from Yarm write to Stockton Borough Council’s returning officer David Bond by March 21. If no request is received then the town council can co-opt a replacement directly.