A COUNCILLOR has been urged to resign after he was found guilty of driving without insurance.

And there have also been calls for an investigation into Coun Michael Johnson’s council expenses after he claimed £550 in mileage - but police said he only had a provisional licence.

Coun Johnson, who sits on Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council for the Fernhurst ward, has vowed to appeal, claiming magistrates had misunderstood his situation.

Before the Blackburn court this week, Coun Johnson was convicted of driving without insurance and other than in accordance with a licence. He was fined £250 with £470 costs, which he will pay back at £40 a week, and his licence was endorsed with eight penalty points.

A Lancashire police spokeswoman said Coun Johnson had provided officers with a provisional licence which had expired.

The independent councillor said he had passed his test in 1982 but admitted he had not seen his licence since being banned for a year in 1997.

He blamed administrative holdups, claiming he had reapplied for his licence a year ago but had not received it from the DVLA.

Coun Kate Hollern, the leader of the council’s opposition Labour group, said: “The expenses should be investigated. It’s in the public interest for people to know.

“It’s all very well saying you have passed your test, but you need to have your paperwork.

“Driving without insurance is a disgrace and sets a bad example, What would happen if he had an accident?

“We run all these campaigns about safe driving and then this happens.”

Tory council leader Mike Lee said: “I am not at all impressed.

“It’s a matter for his conscience but maybe he ought to consider his position.”

Liberal Democrat Roy Davies said: “This is absolutely terrible. If he’s bringing the council into disrepute it’s got to go before the standards board. Whether he resigns depends on his conscience.”

For Darwen leader Tony Melia added: “This has come as a complete surprise. I am very disappointed. Councillors have a responsibility to comply with the law”.

Coun Johnson, who was a founder member of the For Darwen Party before going independent, claimed £488.70 in mileage in 2007/08 and £66.81 the previous year.

The 48-year-old, of Dean Street, Darwen, was driving a Volvo in Cravens Brow, Blackburn, when he was stopped by police on the morning of July 10 last year.

A spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Driving other than in accordance with a licence is often referred to as driving without a licence.”

She said the offence covered not having a licence, possessing only a provisional licence, or having the wrong type of licence for the vehicle being driven.

Speaking after the case, Coun Johnson said he had been test-driving the car for a friend who owned a garage, and claimed the magistrate had not understood the terms of the insurance policy he said covered him.

He said he was fully insured on his own car, and planned to appeal on Monday.

Coun Johnson said: “I am absolutely sure when I appeal it will get absolutely hammered out of court.

“I have no choice, because at the end of the day this is questioning my integrity.

“I want to know where my UK driving licence has gone, and I want it back, but all I have been told is they are investigating”.

A DVLA spokesman said he could not comment on individual cases.

Speaking after the case, Sergeant Mick Young from Lancashire’s Eastern Division Road Policing Unit said: “Uninsured drivers on the roads of East Lancashire pose a real danger to law abiding road users and the road policing unit work tirelessly to remove uninsured drivers from our roads.”