A board member has left TÜV after a female member raised allegations of “harassment”, the party said.

Stephen Cooper, who was almost elected Strangford’s MLA last year, will remain as an independent member of Ards and North Down Borough Council.

In a statement, TÜV said his resignation preceded the completion of an internal investigation into a complaint of harassment against Comber Town Council.

A party spokesman said: “Councillor Stephen Cooper of Ards and North Down Council has resigned from TUV.

“The party recently received a complaint from a female member alleging harassment by Councilor Cooper. The party immediately set up a panel to investigate the complaint and take a decision.

Upon receiving the complaint, Councilor Cooper wrote to party officials apologizing for any actions that caused pain or distress to the complainant.

“Alderman Cooper has now submitted his resignation. His resignation was not requested because the investigation was not yet complete.

“We thank Councilor Cooper for his service to the party.”

Mr. Cooper has been contacted for comment.

He told the Newtownards Chronicle that he was disillusioned with politics and that there were some personal problems with the party.

He told the newspaper he was taking time to consider his options, but would remain on the council for the remainder of the council’s term.

The next council election will be held on May 18, after the date was postponed to avoid confusing the count with the coronation of King Charles III. come into conflict on May 6.

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