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Leicestershire council leader David Parsons faces police inquiry

June 28, 2012 12:41 PM
In BBC
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

Leicestershire's council leader is facing a police inquiry over travel expenses for official trips to Europe.

Tory David Parsons was censured by a county council Standards Committee last week for not repaying money promptly.

The matter has now been referred to Leicestershire Police. Mr Parsons said he would co-operate with police.

Opposition Liberal Democrat and Labour councillors have renewed calls for his resignation but Mr Parsons has said he expects to have his named cleared.

An independent report found Mr Parsons had delayed repaying a publicly-funded body called East Midlands Councils (EMC) which initially paid for the trips.

'Good character'

Mr Parsons apologised and said a line should be drawn under the matter.

The Liberal Democrat leader at the county council, Simon Galton, said: "He could still remain as a councillor and I'm sure he could continue to do a useful job there.

"But in terms of the leadership, I really think he needs to take action."

Mr Parsons released a statement saying: "Having been made aware through a press release by Leicestershire County Council that the issue of my expenses has been referred to the police, I remain determined to maintain my good character.

"To that end - I have contacted the chief constable, and indicated my willingness to co-operate.

"As these matters are now in the hands of the police, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further."

In addition to this, a body called the Corporate Governance Committee will meet at County Hall on Friday to consider further allegations Mr Parsons used the council's chauffeur-driven car to attend Tory party functions.

He is also is facing a vote of no confidence when his Conservative Group meets next Tuesday.

In the past week Mr Parsons has resigned his roles as chair of EMC and Environment Chair of the Local Government Association.