Tories agree fresh sanctions against colleague who unintentionally downloaded pornographic images
- Credit: Archant
FELLOW Tories have turned on their former colleague and Cabinet member Kit Owen, and suspended him for a further six months after he downloaded pornographic images on his council owned computer.
Councillor Alan Melton, leader of the ruling Conservative group on Fenland District Council, announced the increased sanction following a meeting last night of Tory councillors.
“At a meeting of the Conservative Group this evening, members discussed further actions against Councillor Kit Owen regarding his mis-use of a council computer,” said Cllr Melton in a brief statement.
“The group decided that Kit Owen should be suspended from the Conservative Group for a further six months from today’s date.”
The actions follow a ruling by the council’s conduct committee to take no further action against Cllr Owen who unintentionally downloaded hundreds of pornographic images on to his work laptop.
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Cllr Owen, a five-time Mayor of March and a member of Fenland District Council for 34 years, admitted “foolishly” making a pornographic internet search but said he “neither sought nor intended” to download the material.
After last month’s hearing he was suspended by the group until last night and following a vote of members that suspension was increased.
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Fellow March councillor Peter Tunley had previously described it as “an issue so serious that all members should be given the opportunity to comment and give their views”.
And Whittlesey councillor Martin Curtis sent an email to colleagues questioning “whether I would have received the same treatment from Alan (Melton) if this had been me- not that it ever could have been!
“Our group should be in no doubt that my status as a persona non grata means that I would have been absolute toast had it have been me.”
Independent councillor Rob Skoulding had appealed to Cllr Melton not to “stand by Kit, he has been through enough.”
Cllr Skoulding said he worked alongside Cllr Owen during Sunday’s ‘meet your councillors’ event as part of St George’s Day Fayre.
“We were very busy and no-one mentioned the incident and nobody snubbed Kit,” said Cllr Skoulding.
“Considering over 10,000 people visited the town that day I think that speaks for itself.”