A MONEYMORE man once touted as one of the DUP’s rising stars has blamed the collapse of his marriage for his decision to walk away from politics.
Nigel Kells became the first councillor in Northern Ireland to be elected on to the new super councils back in 2014, taking up a seat on Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
However, four years on and less than a year before the next Council election, he has quit his position, with his resignation taking effect from 30th September.
Nigel Kells, who still has family living in Moneymore, revealed the decision was driven by the break-up of his marriage, from which he has three children, and his decision to get engaged to his partner during a holiday in the Dominican Republic last month.
However, it is understood he harbours ambitions to resume his Council career at some stage in the future, and may resurface in the Mid-Ulster Council area.
Speaking to the ‘Antrim Guardian’, Mr Kells said: “I think I have plenty to offer, so I hope this is just a time out.
“In the meantime, I’m certainly not walking away from the party. Hopefully I will be back at a later stage, perhaps in the Moneymore area where I’ve been spending a lot of time lately.”
Speaking in relation to the upheaval in his life away from the chamber, he said: “It’s no secret there have been huge changes to my private life since 2014.”
“Obviously a lot has been going on in the background over the past while. I want to focus on my personal life - to rebuild after what happened.
“I never expected this. I came into politics with good intentions and then my life took an unexpected change.
“Separation is never easy, especially when you have young children. I need to get my life back together.
“Now I find myself in a position where I feel I can’t devote my energies completely to the job, so it’s time to go. It’s the decent thing to do.”
He added that there were currently no plans to move overseas with his fiancée, an international netball player from Gibraltar.