THE former leader of Bury Council, who was suspended by his party, has resigned, the Bury Times understands.

Mike Connolly, who served as deputy Mayor last year is thought to have handed his resignation to the chief executive yesterday via email.

The Bury Times believes Mr Connolly is stepping down because of health reasons.

Mr Connolly was suspended by the Labour party in July 2017 ahead of an investigation into his conduct when former Tottington councillor Simon Carter was being investigated and subsequently prosecuted.

Mr Connolly had reported himself to the council's standards committee but his resignation means he will not be required to appear before a council hearing.

No date had yet been set for a standards hearing. 

Mr Connolly, served as leader of the council from 2011 until 2016, during 2016/17 he was Mayor of Bury and became deputy Mayor last year.

Mr Connolly's resignation leaves a spot on the council but does not automatically trigger a by-election. Mr Connolly's was due to be elected again in May. 

In order to trigger a by-election two voters from the ward must submit a request for one to Bury Council. 

The Bury Times has approached Mr Connolly for a comment.