Two scandal-hit councillors who were suspended from the Labour Party amid claims they lived elsewhere have resigned.

Councillors Chandni Mistry and Bharti Gajjar, who were elected to Brighton and Hove City Council last year, faced allegations that they did not live in the city, as well as claims of electoral malpractice.

The pair were expelled from the Labour Party but continued to sit on the council as independent councillors.

Cllr Mistry denied the allegations to The Argus and has claimed she lives “in the heart of Brighton”.

The pair caused controversy at a full council meeting last month, when they left after less than an hour.

Cllr Mistry, who served as a councillor for Queen’s Park, told The Argus: “To be Brighton’s youngest councillor has been truly an honour.

“I will always cherish the memories of my time representing Queen’s Park. 

“However, I am a full-time student, and combining this with my public duties has been a tremendous amount of pressure. Now is the right time to walk away from local politics

“Thank you to the brilliant council officers I have worked with and to all the residents who elected me aged only 19 to be their voice.”

Cllr Gajjar, who served as a councillor for the Kemptown ward, told The Argus: “Since I was elected, circumstances in my life have changed significantly. 

“I have been affected by serious health issues and preoccupied with supporting members of my family going through personal difficulties. 

“I have also recommenced my studies in medicine, which naturally require a significant time commitment. 

“As such, I have decided to step back from my role on the council. It has been an immense privilege to serve my community, and more than anything I will miss the interactions with the residents whose causes I take up. 

“Seeing their lives improved through the work I have done has been immensely rewarding.”

Each political group on the city council had called for the pair to resign following their expulsion from the Labour Party in December.

The resignation of the two councillors will now trigger by-elections in their respective wards.