A 'TOXIC' and 'childish' backlash towards the relationship declared between two council officials in Bucks has prompted a town's mayor to resign with immediate effect.

Mayor of Gerrards Cross Town Council Andrew Wood has announced he has resigned over claims of ‘toxic’ actions from colleagues in response to his relationship with town council clerk Jiya Jilani.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), the 60 year old said he will leave the parish council with immediate effect today,  after serving as a town councillor for five years and as mayor since 2021.

In his letter of resignation, sent on Monday (September 11) morning and shared with the LDRS, Mr Wood accused some of his fellow colleagues of exercising a ‘political beef’ with him and failing to adhere to the council's code of conduct since the pair became a couple.

He said: “The personal criticisms and toxic, childish unforgivable behaviour shown to me recently by [colleagues] leave me in the position where I must sadly resign as mayor and town councillor to protect the job and integrity of the woman I love with immediate effect.”

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The outgoing mayor said he and town council clerk Jiya Jilani had declared their six-month relationship properly, and that it had been regulated appropriately with the authority.

Following the announcement, Mr Wood also spoke of his pride in his work as mayor. He said: “I'm proud of the community events that I've instituted with our two Picnic In The Park events and the Christmas Extravaganza, as well as driving our safety of the town with the installation of our CCTV along with John O'Keeffe.

“I have also made our two road safety projects a reality and both are well underway on Mill Lane and Marsham Way.”

Mr Wood retains his position as a Conservative unitary councillor for Buckinghamshire Council, representing Gerrards Cross.

Gerrards Cross Town Council confirmed it had received Mr Wood's resignation but did not comment further on any circumstances.