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PRESS RELEASE

 

 

5th April 2016

****PRESS RELEASE****

Harrow Conservative Group Leader under Police Investigation

 

Harrow UNISON Local Government Branch understands that the Harrow Conservative Group Leader, Councillor (Cllr) Susan Hall, is the subject of an investigation by the Metropolitan Police following the Full Council meeting that took place on the 25th February 2016 at Harrow Civic Centre.  The police are investigating allegations that Cllr Hall failed to adhere to Harrow Council’s pecuniary and non pecuniary declaration and propriety rules for its elected councillors.  

At this meeting Councillor Hall presented a petition against the relocation of the Civic Centre to Wealdstone and took part in a debate about the petition which had received over 2,000 signatures. Councillor Hall, for reasons currently unknown to this Branch, failed to comply with the instructions relayed at the outset by the Mayor chairing the meeting and remove herself from the agenda item and the subsequent debate which followed.   

A fellow councillor raised a concern during the meeting that the Tory Group Leader is using her elected and political position in an inappropriate manner which could directly impact on her business and personal economic interests.  The councillor was advised by the Council’s Head Lawyer that the matter is of a serious nature and is one that is required to be investigated by the Police.   

Harrow UNISON LG Branch are not surprised by this lack of judgement and Cllr Hall’s failure to misinterpret compliance with legal requirements; especially when a spurious complaint was made by Cllr Hall to the Police against this union branch in the run up to the last Council elections in 2014 concerning information that we had distributed to our members.  

This complaint, an unfounded and baseless allegation, resulted in a trade union representative receiving a formal police warning.  The warning was removed and this union branch was totally exonerated from any perceived wrong-doing supported by a formal apology from the Assistant Commissioner, Cressida Dick of the Metropolitan Police.    

As a public sector trade union, Harrow UNISON expects all Harrow councillors to comply with the Council’s rules, standards and procedures when representing Harrow residents and to comply with the national rules for councillors contained within the Localism Act (2011).  We do not expect councillor’s to enact double standards or to flout the rules as and when it suits them so that they, potentially, may pursue their own personal interests.  We expect better of our elected politicians and Harrow UNISON will take full part in the investigation, if required. 

As with her national Conservative colleagues, the recently exposed Panama Papers are a national scandal but do demonstrate parallels reflective of the seemingly breathless duplicity for standards and compliance with rules when it suits to pursue personal or political ends.  This branch stands by the law that should be applied consistently to all with no exceptions based on political party.   

 

****ENDS****

 

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