East Finchley councillor, Andrew McNeil has announced his resignation after serving Barnet Council for nearly six years.

The Labour councillor, who was first elected in May 2006, is leaving his post for family reasons.

He said: “My daughter is making a new life with her husband in Northern Ireland and is expecting a baby in the summer. “She has long-standing health problems and will need our help at this time and in the future, which is why my wife and I have decided to move to Northern Ireland as soon as we can to be near her.

“I am very sorry to be leaving East Finchley, which is a beautiful and challenging ward and one in which I have been proud to serve alongside my colleagues Alison Moore and Colin Rogers.

“I do not believe it would be fair to the people of East Finchley or on my colleagues if I was to try and handle casework and other council business from the other side of the Irish Sea.”

Before retiring in 2002, Cllr McNeil worked in television and for the trade association for the British shipping industry where he was head of parliamentary and media affairs.

He is the author of five history books for children and designed the best-selling adult board game Kingmaker, which has won awards in the UK and the US.