A defiant Christy Burke has challenged Sinn Fein to a fresh vote to prove that his voters chose him over the party.
The popular councillor, who stunned the political landscape by resigning the party whip, has come under sustained criticism from his former Sinn Fein colleagues.
In an abrupt statement through party chair Aengus O Snodaigh, Sinn Fein said: "He should now humour the commitment that he made only weeks ago and return what is a Sinn Fein seat to the party."
However, Mr Burke said today that he won "a Christy Burke seat".
"My attitude is that I'm 25 years elected as a councillor and I imagine it is definitely a Christy Burke seat at this stage."
He said he was hurt by the party's reaction after he had given 40 years of his life to the Republic movement.
"It's like my family said, 'if that's what people think of you in Sinn Fein after 40 years, they didn't think much of you'," Mr Burke said.
"If it was wholeheartedly a Sinn Fein seat I would say no problem, but I believe it was a personal vote."
He has challenged his former party to a new vote if they believe he doesn't deserve to take his council seat.
"I'm quite prepared to go back to the people. If someone in Sinn Fein wants to put forward a candidate in a local vote I'll take them on. That's how confident I am," he said.
"If somebody wants to carry out a vox-pop in a scientific method and the swing is in favour of Sinn Fein, then I'll walk."
The north inner city representative said he and his family were disappointed by Sinn Fein's drastic reaction.
"When Joe Beehan left Fianna Fail last year the Taoiseach didn't come out screaming for him to give the seat back to the party," he said. "I'm still sad this morning, I'm pretty emotional but I want to get on with representing the people."
Rumours circulated in Sinn Fein yesterday that the party wanted the seat for rejected MEP candidate Mary Lou McDonald, although sources have denied this.
Burke: This is my seat - not Sinn Fein's - Politics, News - Belfasttelegraph.co.uk
It is Christy Burke's seat, won through decades of community work and activism. I remember voters in '93 creditting him for getting results such as traffic lights in areas otherwise ignored by the main parties.
Let the provos run against Christy next time around and we will see how far they get.....better still, run the Louser against him!
As for the the last paragraph.....we had Pat 'the gub' McL suggesting much the same thing until he was likely told to retract.