Abuse of power and aggression among complaints against councillors

Leeds Town Hall by ''John Gilleghan
Leeds Town Hall by ''John Gilleghan
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Councillors in Leeds have faced a raft of misconduct investigations over the last three years, with accusations including lewd and aggressive behaviour, inappropriate comments, abuse of position and slander.

Newly released figures show 14 Leeds city councillors have been investigated in the past three years.

Details of the inquiries - all of which were eventually dismissed - have emerged in a new report to an internal council watchdog which is tasked with looking into misconduct complaints against councillors at both city and parish level.

The report reveals that there have been three complaints about Leeds city councillors in the past year.

It also notes that “this is lower than the 11 complaints in the last two years” further on in the study.

In addition, investigators received three complaints last year relating to parish or town councillors in the Leeds area. This compared with no complaints at all in the previous year.

One complaint of “lewd and aggressive behaviour” against a town councillor was thrown out, as it was considered a matter relating to their private life and so “the Code of Conduct did not apply to those circumstances”.

Another complaint -alleging that a city councillor “exerted undue influence” to bring about the changing of a will “to the benefit of the subject member” - was also dismissed, but was still passed to an internal auditor for investigation.