At a special meeting of West Lothian Council on Thursday 8th. April, Labour Councillors were left reeling after Council Chief Executive, Alex Linkston, confirmed that he had reported two of their Members to Lothian and Borders Police, for alleged offences under the Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act. The allegations against Councillor Willie Dunn and Graeme Morrice were assessed against the Council’s Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy, and Mr. Linkston then called in the Police.
It is understood that further allegations are being prepared against the two, relating to their involvement in Council “arms length companies” when they controlled the Council in West Lothian. These controversial organisations were at the heart of the Purcell scandal at Glasgow City Council
The revelation comes at an embarrassing time for Graeme Morrice, Labour’s candidate for Livingston in the forthcoming General Election. Councillor Morrice is looking to replace the disgraced MP Jim Devine, who is also facing prosecution, for false accounting.
Councillor Gordon Beurskens, who submitted the complaint against the pair said “These allegations pre-date those made against me by seven months. Although I did not lodge a formal complaint with the Chief Executive in May 2008, he was certainly aware of the allegations, and has confirmed this to me in writing.
“Perhaps now that the Chief Executive has reported them, the Police will now act on a complaint they and the Crown have sat on for 8 months, for reasons best know to themselves. This witch-hunt should never have started, but now it has, I intend to take the fight to my accusers.
“The staggering abuse of process within this Council when under Labour control was disgraceful, and there are those who have sought to pillory my colleagues and I for scrutinising and exposing it. They have singularly failed, and there will be more to come.
“It is unfortunate if that causes some people problems, but we will not be diverted from securing a level playing field in the administration of West Lothian Council.”
Action to Save St. John’s Hospital Party
Hat tip to Rantin Rab who spotted the above.