Orpington MP to remain as Bexley councillor 'until May at latest'
PUBLISHED: 09:59 08 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:24 08 January 2020
Newly-elected MP Gareth Bacon will temporarily hold three different government positions, as he prepares to transition from Bexley Council to the halls of Westminster.
Following the general election, Cllr Bacon will temporarily fulfil the role of Orpington MP alongside his positions on Bexley Council and the Greater London Assembly.
He is in the process of organising a by-election date for his council post and will step down from his London Assembly role ahead of elections on May 7.
His Greater London Authority salary of £56,270 will also be reduced by two thirds until he steps down - standard practice for members of the authority elected to Parliament.
He said he was in discussions with Bexley Council and the area's Conservative Party branch as to when he would resign as a councillor for Longlands Ward.
He indicated he would aim for a council by-election to be held ahead of the May London Assembly election.
Leader of Bexley Council, Teresa O'Neill, thanked Cllr Bacon for his service.
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"Obviously we're delighted that Gareth has been elected as the Member of Parliament for Orpington and wish him all the best for the future," Cllr O'Neill said.
"Councillor Bacon was elected by the residents of Longlands Ward in May 2018 to serve a four year term so it will be for him to decide whether he resigns. Only a resignation (or non-attendance) would trigger a by-election.
"Gareth has been a councillor in Bexley since May 1998 so a long standing member and has held senior positions during that time."
Cllr Bacon said he had fond memories of his time both on the council and the assembly.
He said Bexley Council was "full of great people - councillors and officers", and that he would be sad to go.
He also added that he "wouldn't be in Parliament" if not for his time with the London Assembly.
Cllr Bacon successfully ran for the Conservatives in place of Jo Johnson, who stood down after citing "unresolvable tension" arising from conflicting views with his brother, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, over Brexit.
Orpington, a long-term Tory stronghold, saw the Conservatives secure 63.4 per cent of the total vote, a 0.5 per cent increase from the 2017 election.