A COUNCILLOR who won his seat at the last election despite being ineligible to stand for office in the borough - has resigned.

A by-election is set to be called in Chadwell ward after Labour councillor Mark Gittens - who took the seat from the Lib Dems on May 7 with 1,949 votes - stood down yesterday (Monday).

Mr Gittens was told he had to go after it emerged that he is a teacher at Wanstead High School, a council employee, and therefore was not allowed to stand for election in the borough.

Mr Gittens, a science teacher at the school in Redbridge Lane West, said at the time: "I was completely transparent about myself during the campaign which can be seen from the leaflets that were handed out.

"No-one would dispute that I fought the seat fairly. Obviously mistakes were made. People make mistakes, but these things happen in life.

"It's obviously a disappointment after winning so well.

"I did my best and that's it really."

Senior Labour group members have expressed embarrassment following the revelation, but insist it was an 'innocent error.'

Lib Dem councillor Richard Hoskins described the mix-up as 'irresponsible.'