Cllr John Copsey, who sits on Bridlington Town Council and was mayor in 2015, moved into a flat with his 19-year-old girlfriend Daisy Tomlinson last week.
He told the Free Press: “I appreciate people’s concerns but we are two consenting adults and we are very much in love. This is not a fling or a dirty. sordid affair.
“We have not kept it a secret.”
Cllr Copsey met his new girlfriend during his year in office, but not while he was on an official engagement. Romance blossomed after they became friends and his home address has been changed on the council’s website this week after the couple moved in.
Their relationship made a national newspaper today and Cllr Copsey said: “I didn’t expect it to hit the tabloids, to be honest.
“If I had been plain old John Copsey the electrician, nobody would be interested.”
He said it was ‘a bit of a relief’ that their relationship was no public knowledge and insisted reactions from friends had ranged from ‘good on you’ to ‘there’s no fool like an old fool’.
“People who know me, most of them have given their blessing and said it is obvious we are in love and ‘to hell with what people think’,” Cllr Copsey added.
He insisted that there was no conflict of interests with his work as a town councillor.
“This does not affect my work as a councillor. It has no bearing on that.
“The first thing I did was inform the council. It’s my personal life.
“No laws have been broken and there is no conflict of interest.”
But he admitted his actions could end up affecting voters at the ballot box, and he would have to live with that.
Cllr Copsey said: “There’s more to life than being a councillor, as much as I think I am a good candidate - if you cut me in half, it says Bridlington. But I could understand people not supporting me.
“People are entitled to their own opinion.”