A shock byelection has been triggered after the resignation of Conservative Councillor Robert-John Tasker.

The Tory, who represented Coombe Vale ward, flew to America at the beginning of September for a trial period with a company, believed to be global advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, in Philadelphia.

Conservative councillor Priyen Patel said Coun Tasker resigned after being offered a job in America and said a byelection is due to take place in early December.

A Conservative office spokesman refused to confirm the resignation of Counc Tasker, who claimed to be the youngest councillor in the country when he was elected in 2006.

But the councillor’s photograph and contact details have now been removed from the council website.

Coombe Vale ward lies in the Richmond Park constituency, and the local Conservative association has started the process of selecting a candidate.

The ward has elected three Conservative councillors at the last two local elections.

Last year the bottom placed Conservative was only 79 votes ahead of top placed Liberal Democrat candidate Julie Haines, while the ward was split between two Lib Dems and one Conservative in 2002.