A TORY councillor for Aberdeen has defended spending most of the last six months in Dubai, claiming that he’s able to keep in contact with his constituents from the beach.

Brett Hunt hasn’t turned up for any council meetings since September last year.

Under Section 35 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act, any councillor who does not attend a meeting for six months is automatically kicked out.

Hunt has been in the middle east on "secondment" from his job as a general manager for oil and gas firm, National Oilwell Varco.

But it’s not all work, on his social media the former soldier has shared pictures of him out on his speed boat, trying his hand at windsurfing and enjoying cocktails at exclusive resorts.

The National: A screenshot from Hunt's social media as he enjoys the sunA screenshot from Hunt's social media as he enjoys the sun

The SNP’s leader on the council, Stephen Flynn, said Hunt’s constituents were referring to their long-distance representative as the “Councillor for the Bridge of Dubai”.

"I've no doubt that the administration will be making hasty arrangements to jet him back but the people of Aberdeen will be questioning how someone who is reputedly very rarely in the city can seriously vote on the council budget.

"We all know that exceptions have rightly been made in the past on health grounds to allow councillors to pass the six month period, but I don't think 'not being in the city' will wash its feet as a reasonable excuse."

He added:"When you are fortunate enough to get elected to office you must be willing to make sacrifices to do your best by the city, if you aren't prepared to do that then you should step away."

Hunt told The National that being away from home was part of the job when you worked in oil and gas: "Like many who work in the sector know, it's not uncommon to travel with work.”

The councillor also insisted he would be back in Aberdeen before the six month deadline was up.

“I will, of course, be attending both the budget and the full council meeting in March and I keep in contact regularly with constituents who have issues that I can assist with. Being a councillor is a 5-year commitment and it's not unusual, as SNP councillor attendance records show, for this to be varied over that time."

Tory group leader Douglas Lumsden defended his colleague. He told the Press and Journal: “Being a councillor is not always full time job as SNP MSP John Mason reminded the Scottish Parliament last week.

“Councillor Flynn and a third of the SNP group have second jobs with MPs or MSPs drawing double from the public purse.

“Councillor Hunt is on secondment with his energy sector job that he had at the time of the election. He will be with us at both the upcoming full council and budget meeting.”

Aberdeen City Council is currently run by a coalition of 23 Scottish Tories, and former Labour councillors.

The SNP have 19 out of the remaining 22 seats. If Councillor Hunt is forced out then the ruling administration could lose their majority.