Wife of disgraced former Walsall Council leader Sean Coughlan not seeking re-election

A long-standing Walsall councillor and wife of disgraced former authority leader Sean Coughlan has announced she will not be standing for re-election.

Councillor Diane Coughlan. PIC: Gurdip Thandi LDR
Councillor Diane Coughlan. PIC: Gurdip Thandi LDR

Diane Coughlan said she had decided to “put herself first” having served the Willenhall South ward as a Labour councillor for the past 12 years.

Her husband Sean Coughlan, aged 65, was handed an 18-month community order and made subject of a five year sexual harm prevention order after admitting two child sex offences which came to light after he was caught in a paedophile sting operation in December last year.

At the hearing on March 17, Judge Michael Chambers said Diane Coughlan had submitted a character reference for her husband but she later confirmed she was not sticking by him and they were no longer a couple.

Announcing her decision, Councillor Coughlan she would continue to represent residents until the May local elections and remain involved in the community she was born and bred in.

Her social media announcement prompted dozens of people to comment sending best wishes and praising her for the work she had done in the community.

Sean Coughlan pictured in a video posted by 'paedophile hunters'

Councillor Coughlan’s post said: "I have thought long and hard before posting this as I did not want to open up another platform to receive abuse, but I owe it to the people who have supported me for the last 12 years to hear it from me.

"I have decided not to seek re-election as Councillor for Willenhall South. This was entirely my decision and I was asked by some colleagues to reconsider, but for the first time in years I have decided to put myself first.

“It has been an honour and privilege to represent the people of Willenhall and the wonderful town where I was born and bred.

"The position has enabled me to meet some lovely people and make some wonderful friends, who have supported me these past few months.

"I know I have made a difference to the lives of some families and have been involved in some projects that will have a lasting legacy on our town.

"Last but not least I would like to thank all the wonderful people of Willenhall who have supported me over the past 12 years, I am not going anywhere and will continue to be involved in the community.

"I am still a Councillor until the May election and still here to help you, if needed. Regards Diane Coughlan."

Councillor Coughlan was first elected in May 2010 and was a cabinet member on several occasions with the responsibility for the social care portfolio. She also served on health boards and scrutiny committees.

Labour’s candidates for the two Willenhall South seats which are up for grabs have been confirmed as Simran Cheema and Connor Horton.

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