Standards Board confirm that Mayor-Elect has a case to answer

April 30, 2008 5:04 AM

'Mayor-Elect', Councillor Robin Parker, will be investigated after trying to use his influence as a Councillor to get Jean Ashworth sacked from her job at Rochdale Infirmary. The complaint to the Standards Board related to a series of emails that Councillor Parker sent to health bosses demanding that Councillor Ashworth be disciplined. If the complaint is upheld, Councillor Parker could become the first Mayor ever to be removed from office by the Standard's Board.

A furious Paul Rowen MP joined Council Leader Councillor Alan Taylor in reporting Councillor Parker to the Standard's Board of England under Sections 5 and 6 of the Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2007. The Standard's Board investigates the ethical behaviour of members and co-opted members who serve on a range of authorities through receiving and investigating allegations that members may have breached the Code of Conduct.

The Standard's Board receive over 50,000 complaints a year and only investigate a few. Most of these complaints do not go to formal determination.

Mr Rowen said: "I would be rather worried if I were Councillor Parker. The Standard's Board only investigate the most serious of allegations and it's clear that Councillor Parker has a serious case to answer. I have asked, bearing in mind the seriousness of the allegation for this to be dealt with at a national level."

Council Leader Alan Taylor said: "It is now clear that this man is not fit to represent our Borough as Mayor. I have asked the Labour Party to come up with an alternative suggestion for Mayor and they have refused.

"Councillor Parker faces being chucked off the Council for his betrayal of morals. It would be a national scandal if Councillor Parker gets kicked off the Council for his actions and a world first. The Labour Party needs to act now!"