Portsmouth's Deputy Lord Mayor to step down before progressing to top job
THE city's youngest politician will not become Lord Mayor in May as planned after stating he would not be able to 'do justice' to the role.
Portsmouth councillor and Deputy Lord Mayor Ben Dowling has revealed he will step down from his mayoral duties this election season, leaving the top job open to someone else.
Cllr Dowling, who represents Milton ward, was appointed deputy to Lord Mayor David Fuller during a ceremony last year. And his fiancee Roxana Andrusca was made Deputy Lord Mayoress.
Newly-engaged Cllr Dowling, 26, thanked his colleagues for the past year. He said: 'We have absolutely loved being Deputy Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress but at this stage of our lives we don't feel we can give the time or commitment required to do justice to the role and the city.
'We we think it's better to step down ahead of time rather than attempt to fit it in with all the other pressures we each hold.
'We have really enjoyed the roles and met a lot of great people along the way. Until May we will continue to support the Lord Mayor and attend events and meet with members of the public.'
He added if a colleague was keen to take on the role as Deputy Lord Mayor before May he would step down earlier.
Cllr Dowling will remain a city councillor. His seat will be up for election in 2022.
During the local election in Portsmouth this year a total of 14 seats will be contested.