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Town's top Lib Dem is in the clear

January 28, 2009 9:06 AM
By Brentwood Gazette reporter in Brentwood Gazette
David Kendall

Cllr David Kendall is in the clear

AN INVESTIGATION into the conduct of the town's leader of the Liberal Democrats has cleared him of any wrongdoing.

The case brought against Pilgrims Hatch ward councillor David Kendall by Tory councillor Louise McKinlay, chairman of the council's highways panel, followed an alleged incident after a meeting last year in which he was accused of inappropriately haranguing her.

The matter was investigated by an external officer whose findings were released this week.

Cllr Kendall said: "I am pleased that the inspector saw through this whole charade."

The inspector said that Cllr Kendall's behaviour had not amounted to aggressive behaviour.

Cllr Kendall added: "I have been a member of Brentwood Borough Council for 17 years and during that time have never been referred to the Standards Board until now.

"To be reported by Cllr Mrs McKinlay following a conversation in which I had apologised to her for getting exasperated during a meeting, and then complimenting her on being one of the better Tory chairs, seems quite extraordinary.

"As a politician you accept disagreements and attacks on your policies and views, but when people resort to this type of measure to try and shut down the opposition then matters have clearly got out of hand.

"This unnecessary investigation has been running for four months and has caused significant upset and distress to those closest to me.

"Hopefully lessons will have been learnt by everyone involved."

Cllr Louise McKinlay said: "Obviously the code of conduct is set up and agreed to by members on the rules they are to follow.

"The standards board is there to ensure these rules are adhered to. The standards board has made their decision and I respect that.

"What I would say is that this does not move away from the fact that Cllr Kendall did behave inappropriately to me."