A Ukip councillor who admitted fiddling thousands of pounds in a benefits scam can keep his seat on Cambridgeshire County Council.

Peter Lagoda, 60, fraudulently claimed more than £20,000 in state handouts with his wife, Maria, between 2008 and 2010.

He was given a 12-month community order by a judge at Peterborough Crown Court. Lagoda changed his plea to guilty at the start of his trial last month.

Lagoda and wife cheated taxpayers by claiming he lived in South Beach in Cambridgeshire, while actually living with his wife in Wisbech – the area he represented for Nigel Farage's anti-EU party.

As a result, the pair of them pocketed £11,656 in income support, £10,949 in housing benefit and £2,346 in council tax aid.

Lagoda was convicted of fraud by false representation and benefit fraud. His wife also pleaded guilty and was given the same sentence.

Under current rules, there is nothing to stop Lagoda holding a council seat because his sentence fell below the threshold of three months in jail or a suspended sentence to disqualify him.

A Cambridgeshire County Council spokesman told IBTimes UK: "He remains a councillor."

Lagoda was suspended by Ukip when the allegations came to light.