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End of Story - Leicestershire council leader David Parsons resigns

July 3, 2012 9:32 PM
In BBC News
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

The leader of Leicestershire County Council, who is being investigated over his expenses, has resigned.

David Parsons is at the centre of an ongoing row about travel expenses and use of official vehicles.

Last week the police confirmed they had launched an inquiry over his claims for trips to the continent.

Mr Parsons had been facing a vote of no confidence from his own Conservative group, but has instead decided to step down.

Speaking after his announcement, Mr Parsons said: "I am not unhappy with the decision.

'Honourable' move

"If you become the story and not Leicestershire County Council, which is a superb council, it is time to consider your position and I have.

"Somebody in my position has to take difficult decisions and that is what I have done."

Conservative councillor David Sprason said it was the right thing to do.

"He needed to do the honourable thing, he needed to stand down so he could concentrate on the issues which currently surround him," he said.

"This gives him the time and opportunity to actually look into that and help himself through it."

Private functions

Last month the council's standards committee censured Mr Parsons over an independent report which found he had delayed repaying money to a body called East Midlands Councils (EMC).

It had initially paid for official trips to the continent, but the EU then paid Mr Parsons directly.

Mr Parsons apologised but initially refused to step down as leader, a post he had held for nine years.

Last week the county council referred the issue to Leicestershire Police.

In addition to this, a body called the Corporate Governance Committee is to consider further allegations that Mr Parsons used the council's chauffeur-driven car to attend private functions.