A mayor who broke Covid-19 lockdown rules to attend a party has resigned.
The mayor of Luton, Tahir Malik, was pictured during a meeting in a garden, with borough councilors Asif Masood and Waheed Akbar.
It came shortly after the city was designated as a “zone of intervention” by Public Health England.
Mr. Malik said: “There is no excuse for what I did – I should have known better and I accept full responsibility for my actions. ”
Photos of Mr. Malik, Mr. Masood and Mr. Akbar have appeared on social media following the July rally.
In a statement on the Luton Borough Council website, Mr. Malik said his actions were “below the standard of my position.”
He said stepping back was “the best thing I can do for the city”.
He added that he hoped his actions would serve “as a reminder to the people of Luton of the importance of following the guidelines of Covid-19 as it remains a real and serious threat.”
Borough council head Hazel Simmons (Lab) said Mr Malik made a “mistake he deeply regrets” and “he and his family are really suffering right now”.
She added: “It’s unfortunate what’s happened, and I think it’s fair for him to step down right now, but it’s important to recognize the fantastic contribution he has made to Luton. ”
Liberal Democrat opposition leader David Franks said the case was not over.
“It would help if the local Labor Party made it clear what action it is taking,” he said.
“This period of silence raises suspicions of an attempted cover-up. ”
The borough council said it had received complaints about the three labor advisers, which would be handled through its standards committee.
He added that a new mayor would be appointed on September 29.
Find BBC News: East of England on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you have a story suggestion email