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Former Lancashire County Council leader faces bust-up grilling
3:07pm Tuesday 13th August 2013 in News
FORMER Lancashire County Council leader Geoff Driver today faces a hearing by the authority’s conduct committee over an alleged angry confrontation between himself and another councillor.
It follows an investigation by officials after a complaint by Liberal Democrat leader Coun Bill Winlow.
The allegations relate to meetings on May 21 after the elections that month left no party in overall control of the giant authority which provides services in Burnley, Pendle, andRossendale.
Tory Coun Driver was due to deny the claims that he was physically aggressive after becoming angry and trying to grab papers from Coun Winlow.
The incident is claimed to have happened after the breakdown of talks between the two parties in the Liberal Democrat office at County Hall, Preston.
The conduct committee meeting at 2pm will be chaired by the council’s Labour leader Jennifer Mein who took over the running of the council with Liberal Democrat support shortly after the talks between the other two parties collapsed.
Coun Driver said: “ This is all politically motivated. Why did Bill Winlow wait two months before making the complaint?
“I did become angry and swear at him. He snatched a piece of paper from me and I tried to snatch it back.
“It was all a bit unseemly but there was absolutely no physical contact.”
Coun Winlow said last night: “There was physical contact. No doubt about it.
“That is all I wish to say in advance of the meeting.”
A county council spokesman said: “If the committee concludes there's been a breach of the council’s code of conduct, they can either ask the person to give a written apology to the person (or people) involved or a verbal apology before a formal meeting, such as full council.”
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