A FORMER councillor who was booted off a council 240 miles away for non-attendance is standing in Herefordshire.

Michael Guest, an It’s Our County candidate for Herefordshire Council, was given his marching orders last month after failing to turn up to a single meeting in six months of Copeland Borough Council in Cumbria.

Describing himself as ‘organised and capable’, Mr Guest has been nominated to stand as a candidate in the local elections on May 2.

He said he would not comment on the matters relating to Cumbria but confirmed he is standing for the county council Mortimer ward and Leintwardine group parish council.

When asked, he said attending meetings at Shirehall in Hereford would not be a problem for him, if elected.

“It’s about a 45-minute drive to Hereford from where I am and I go there quite regularly,” he said.

“There are a lot of issues that need attending locally and I’ve been encouraged by local residents to stand.”

He had been elected to serve Kells in Whitehaven as an Independent in 2015 but has been to ten meetings out of a possible 36 in that time – netting him an average of more than £1,200 in taxpayer-funded allowances for every appearance.

It is understood that Mr Guest moved to Herefordshire almost two years ago.

Copeland’s Labour leader Raymond Gill, who has an exemplary attendance record, said: “He conned the people of Whitehaven, he conned the people of Kells and now he’s about to con the people of Herefordshire.

“When you see people who have given a lifetime of public service and then you look at how little he has given, it makes you very angry.”

It is understood that Mr Guest has been battling cancer, but Mr Gill added: “If he is so ill that he can’t serve the people of Whitehaven, why does he want to serve the people of Herefordshire for four years?”

Copeland Conservative leader David Moore described the news that Mr Guest is standing as ‘disappointing’ for the people of Herefordshire.

He said: “At the end of the day, he let Copeland council down. He let then electorate down. He never represented the people who put their faith in him. For four years their voice went unheard due to his poor attendance.

“The people of Hereford need to be aware he will let them down just as he let the people of Whitehaven down.”

Mr Guest, the former town mayor did not serve on any committees amid claims he could not be relied upon to turn up to them and was only expected to attend the monthly meeting of the full council.

Councillors also said he left the two meetings he attended in 2018 before the halfway point.

Mr Guest was also town councillor for the Kells ward until May when he was removed for the same reason.

A subsequent meeting of the town council descended into chaos and police were called when he refused to move into the public gallery despite no longer being a councillor.

A claim made against Whitehaven Town Council by Mr Guest over the ownership of two ceremonial medals from his time as mayor was dismissed in 2018.