‘Meddling’ councillor judgment expected in weeks

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THE leader of a Yorkshire council will discover within a fortnight if he is to be disciplined over claims he meddled with Freedom of Information responses being prepared by his authority.

Kirklees Council launched an investigation last year into claims that Labour leader Mehboob Khan interfered with requests for information from the public.

On Monday a Local Government Standards tribunal will be held in Leeds.

A judge will consider written evidence gathered in the council investigation into the allegations.

The tribunal is being held in private, with neither party being called to give evidence.

The outcome of the hearing is expected to be announced within the next two weeks.

The tribunal has the power to suspend or disqualify councillors found guilty of misconduct.

The investigation looked into Coun Khan’s involvement in dealing with nine FOI requests to the council in 2010 and 2011.

It is claimed that he intervened to prevent some information being sent out.

Coun Khan declined to comment yesterday but in March last year he denied doing anything wrong, saying his involvement in the process was minimal.

He said his intervention in having responses amended had improved the information being sent out.

And he said officers and councillors worked together on FOI responses in most councils.

A spokesman for the council confirmed the tribunal hearing into nine Freedom of Information requests would be held in private on Monday.

“A principal judge will consider written evidence at the Employment Tribunal offices in Leeds, with the outcome of the hearing expected to be announced within the next two weeks.

“The matter will be held in private with neither party being called to give evidence as neither side disputes the investigation report.

“If the judge finds a breach of the code has taken place there is a right of appeal.”