Tuesday, 15 January 2013

West Ken: criminal investigation starts

The Independent Police Complaints Commission, the IPCC, is set to investigate the former leader of H&F Council's actions in relation to the West Ken development, reports Dave Hill of the Guardian. Following the dossier that was submitted to the police last year our Council attempted to investigate itself via the accountants Deloittes but this now appears to have become null and void as the IPCC probe overtakes it.

And it follows a ruling in the High Court that the legality of our Council's approach to this development is open to question.

Although the IPCC is looking into the actions specifically of Stephen Greenhalgh, he did not act alone. And I would imagine one or two others are feeling just a little more anxious, this morning.

1330 UPDATE: ITV London news has reported on this growing row today with our MP Andy Slaughter calling on the Mayor to suspend Mr Greenhalgh in view of the announcement by the IPCC.Mr Slaughter argued that since the allegations amount to serious criminal misconduct in public office it was no longer appropriate for Mr Greenhalgh to have responsibility for policing.  Watch the piece here.

Coming so soon after his half-apology over allegations of sexual molestation of staff, the odds must be shortening on the first Deputy Mayor to walk the plank of Boris' new term. I suspect more than a few police officers may be enjoying the episode.

1530 UPDATE: The Conservatives have hit back as hard as they can this afternoon, with an impassioned piece on the Tory blog ConservativeHome. No author name is given for this article but it is likely to be penned by H&F Councillor Harry Phibbs, who partly edits the local government section of the site. And who has come to Mr Greenhalgh's aid before.

Mr Greenhalgh himself has issued the following comment:
"I am immensely proud of my record as Hammersmith & Fulham Council Leader. These baseless allegations are politically motivated. I refuse to be distracted from my important role as Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime."

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