UKIP Wisbech councillor cleared of breach of code of conduct for newspaper letter

Cllr Alan Lay

Cllr Alan Lay - Credit: Archant

A UKIP councillor has been cleared of wrongdoing for comments made by his wife on his behalf in a newspaper about a former party secretary.

Lloyd Forster

Lloyd Forster - Credit: Archant

Councillor Alan Lay was reported to the Cambridgeshire County Council’s standards committee for a breach of the Members Code Of Conduct following a letter from Brenda Lay, signed off as ‘on behalf of Cllr Lay’, which appeared in the Fenland Citizen on October 1.

The complaint was made to the council’s monitoring officer Quentin Baker by Lloyd Forster, who is a former town councillor and former secretary of the Fenland branch of UKIP.

Mr Forster claimed the letter was “libellous” but Mr Baker ruled the comments “didn’t go beyond what might be expected as part of the political rough and tumble”.

The letter said: “In reply to Lloyd Forster’s letter published on September 24 I am not surprised at anything this man finds to moan about.

“One thing is for sure he has not learned a thing about unity in his many years.

“Maybe sitting on the fence and criticising others who do try to make a difference makes him miserable and argumentative.

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“Maybe he should liven up, cheer up and if he needs someone to talk to on a sensible subject I am just round the corner.

“If he believes that the closure of Community House is just in the proposal stage then he is living on a different planet to the rest of us.”

The monitoring officer said: “There is nothing in the evidence that suggests that the comments made by the subject member in his letter, although not endorsed by the council, go beyond what might be expected as part of the political rough and tumble between those of opposing political views.”

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