A £16,000-a-year SNP councillor has apologised and is to consider resigning after he missed 40 council meetings because he lives and works in Austria.

Arthur Morrison has come under pressure to quit Fife Council's Kirkcaldy East ward, having spent four out of five weeks abroad.

The project consultant said yesterday he had spent longer working in the country than expected and admitted it was not ideal.

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Speaking from Austria, Mr Morrison said: "Not being full-time in the constituency was not something I had anticipated when first elected or for the first year. I do not feel it is strictly necessary a lot of the time. But you have to be back full-time every few weeks to really move things on.

"I realise I need to create value and justify myself and through my full-time weeks back in Scotland. I feel I do that. This situation will not be permanent."

He said he prioritised attendance at community meetings, but complained his presence at main meetings would make little difference as the ruling Labour group is able to push plans through. He added he would reconsider his position after the independence referendum on September 18.