Councillor quits after being priced out of Hackney

Rick Muir

Rick Muir - Credit: Archant

A resigning Hackney councillor says he is leaving London after being priced out of buying a house in the borough.

Rick Muir, one of two Labour members to quit this week, is leaving his Hackney Downs ward for a “change of life”.

“My wife and I are moving,” he told the Gazette. “We need a bigger place and with the costs in Hackney it’s too expensive [to buy].

“We’ve had a look and realised you can actually get a garden if you move outside of London.”

Mr Muir, director of think tank the Police Foundation, had lived in the borough for 10 years and said he would be sad to leave, but had to think about his future.

Stoke Newington Central ward councillor Louisa Thomson also left her post on Monday, citing personal reasons.

Referring to herself as a “recovering ex Labour councillor” on Twitter, she wrote: “After suggestions for things that normal people do on weekday evenings. 2008 was the last time I had a meeting free life #excouncillor”

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A by-election will be held on May 5 to find their replacements. Labour has not yet announced candidates for the seats.

The party’s chief whip Rob Chapman said: “Both Louisa and Rick have made a huge contribution to the council and the Labour group during their time in office, and both of them and the Labour Group regret that they have had to resign. We have offered them our best wishes for the future.”