Investigation into Whitby school governor ‘told to resign’ over Ukip views

UKIP's Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall
UKIP's Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall
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An investigation is underway into the resignation of the head of governors at a Yorkshire school who claims he was asked to step down because of his political views.

Scarborough councillor Mike Ward alleges Eskdale School headteacher Sue Whelan asked him to relinquish is role as the chairman of the governing body after he joined the UK Independence Party.

In a statement, coun Ward said he was invited to a meeting with the headteacher after his switch to Ukip was reported in local media.

“She then asked me to resign saying UKIP’s policies were against the ethos of the school.

“I was astonished as politics had never played a part in my time as a Governor but after some soul searching over the weekend and not wishing to cause the school any further issues I tendered my resignation which she accepted.”

Responding to the allegation, North Yorkshire County Council said: “North Yorkshire County Council has received a complaint from a member of the public about the resignation of the chair of governors at Eskdale School in Whitby.

“This is a matter for consideration not by the County Council but by the school’s governing body. We understand that the governing body is taking this complaint seriously and will respond to the complainant.”

The school was referring inquiries about the matter to the county council today.

UK Independence Party deputy leader Paul Nuttall said: ““This is an outrage, Mike has been a dedicated governor for years and it is totally unacceptable that membership of UKIP should be considered to be incompatible with being a governor,” said the party’s deputy leader Paul Nuttall.

“This is discrimination against a conscientious man who has worked tirelessly for the school and it is a disgrace that the head teacher has taken it upon herself to oust him. He purely has the interests of the school and local youngsters at heart.

“There must be a full independent inquiry into this debacle and Mike should be re-instated. He is a former teacher and university lecturer and I’m sure his fellow governors had no problems with his completely unrelated political membership.

“Everyone is entitled to their own political views and I’m sure the other governors have theirs and possibly even belong to a political party but like Mike just concentrate on seeking the best for Eskdale School.”