Tendring: Hacking case complaint thrown out

A LABOUR councillor accused and cleared of e-mail hacking has hit out a committee for failing to investigate his complaint.

A LABOUR councillor accused and cleared of e-mail hacking has hit out a committee for failing to investigate his complaint.

Members of Tendring District Council’s Conduct Committee, which has a Conservative majority, voted to throw out formal complaints made by the Labour group over allegations of e-mail hacking.

The row began after a message from Cllr Nick Turner, the council’s environment chief, was leaked. The e-mail said �3million of sea defence funding in Holland-on-Sea should be axed if his party did not win a by-election there.

When the issue was raised at full council by Labour councillor Garry Calver, who is blind, Conservative leader Neil Stock said he or someone acting on behalf of the group must have accessed Tory councillors’ e-mails illegally.


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In July, an internal investigation concluded there was no evidence to support the allegations. Mr Calver submitted a complaint over the matter with the council while Cllr Ivan Henderson, the authority’s Labour leader, lodged a complaint on behalf of the group.

On Friday, four members of the Conduct Committee voted against taking any further action while two voted in favour.

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The committee consists of four Tories, one Independent councillor and one member from the Tendring First group. Labour member Les Double was excluded from the vote due to a conflict of interests.

Speaking after the meeting. Mr Calver said: “I am absolutely horrified. This was an accusation against my character of having acted illegally.

“It was made by the leader in the council chamber and now his Conservative colleagues are denying me the right of an independent investigation into his attack on my character.”

Mr Calver also criticised the committee for not treating the two complaints separately.

“I have placed my faith in the system set up by Tendring District Council and in the integrity of the councillors dealing with it.

“I am entitled to an independent in investigation.”

But a spokesman for the council said: “The conduct committee decided that the two complaints should not be referred for investigation as they appear to be politically motivated and no further action should be taken.”

amie.keeley@eadt.co.uk

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