EDDC’s response to revelations by Daily Telegraph today can be read at the following link:
It includes the following announcement:
The council has learned that the district’s Conservative Group have suspended Cllr Brown and also removed him from post as the council’s Member Champion for Business and Tourism.
The following is the Conservative Group’s statement:
The East Devon District Council Conservative Party Group has this afternoon suspended Cllr Graham Brown.
Cllr Brown has also been removed from his post of Member Champion for Business and Tourism on East Devon District Council by the ruling Conservative Party group.
The move follows media revelations of Cllr Brown’s professional work as a Planning Consultant, where reporters filmed Cllr Brown insinuating that he could influence local planning decisions.
The council is carefully assessing whether it should investigate this matter as a possible breach of its Code of Conduct.
Cllr Paul Diviani, Leader of the Conservative group on East Devon District Council said:
“I and other members feel that Cllr Brown has brought himself, the party and council in to disrepute with his comments, and even though his interest as a planning consultant has been declared this does not excuse the remarks he made.
“This was not conduct becoming of a Conservative Party member, and as such I think it is only appropriate to suspend Cllr Brown from the Party and seek a resolution from members that he should no longer be welcome as a representative of the East Devon Conservative Group (removal from the party is not within the remit of the EDDC Conservative Group where matters of this nature are dealt with by the relevant Conservative Party Constituency Association).
“Cllr Brown is not a member of the council’s planning committee, and whilst there is no immediate evidence of Cllr Brown exerting any improper influence on planning decisions; with his claims he has tarred the council, its staff and other Members with the same unpleasant brush.”
The East Devon Conservative Party Group is set to meet on 20th March and may ratify proposals to remove Cllr Brown from the East Devon District Council Conservative Party Group at that meeting.