The former leader of the Cotswold District Council has been kicked off the authority.

Mark Annett, who represented the Campden and Vale Ward, has been disqualified for failing to attend a single council meeting for six months.

Mr Annett had been a councillor since 2009 and was the leader of the council between 2016 and 2018.

During first lockdown he faced a standards probe after verbally abusing a police officer.

Current Cotswold District Council Leader Joe Harris said: “It’s beggars belief that Mr Annett had the opportunity to attend 37 meetings of the Council over the past six months and hasn’t attended a single one.

“He was an experienced councillor and should have known that he could have applied for a dispensation from the six-month rule if he was unable to attend because of a personal issue or poor health.

“Mr Annett’s disqualification also poses questions for his former Conservative colleagues on the Council. Why did they not notice that he was about to be disqualified for non-attendance? If they can’t ensure their councillors attend one meeting every six months how can voters have any confidence that they could run the Council?”

Mr Annett was disqualified from the council under Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972 which states that if a councillor fails to attend a council meeting within a consecutive six month period, they cease to be a member of the authority.

A by-election will be held to determine Mr Annett’s replacement which Liberal Democrats say comes at a cost of thousands of pounds to local council taxpayers.

The Campden and Vale Ward includes Chipping Campden, Willersey, Mickleton, Aston-sub-Edge, Weston-sub-Edge and Saintbury.