A BY-ELECTION will be held to replace a councillor who resigned his seat after revealing he had left the Conservative party.

Lexden and Braiswick councillor Martin Leatherdale has confirmed he has resigned his seat to pave the way for a by-election, after first revealing he had moved from being a Conservative to an Independent.

Mr Leatherdale romped home when fighting for his seat in the ward earlier this month on May 5, securing 1,416 votes.

Conservative group leader on the council Darius Laws issued a statement saying a by-election should be held just weeks after the election.

Mr Leatherdale, who is also the boss of Colchester's Lion Walk Shopping Centre, became an Independent on Monday, with the change reflected on Colchester Council's website.

READ MORE: Conservative leader Darius Laws says voters deserve by-election

In a joint statement released to the Gazette today, Mr Leatherdale said: "I have enjoyed my time immensely on the borough council and have endeavoured to work hard for our residents, the wider strategic commercial investment and safety of the borough. 

"I thank the electorate most sincerely for their overwhelming vote and it is for this reason I have agreed a by-election is the most democratic and fair way forward for all." 

Mr Leatherdale confirmed he would not be seeking re-election. 

He said: "To concentrate on ambitious plans for the town (soon to be city) centre, which are not always aligned with the political dynamics of a large group of people, I will not be seeking re-election and instead will re-focus on new projects - and of course spending time with my family." 

Mr Laws said: "I'd like to thank Martin for his time and commitment on the borough council and we wish him well for the future, a future which will see us working together for the betterment of Colchester."