Wednesday, March 13, 2013
East Devon District Council has this evening (Wednesday, March 13) received the resignation of Graham Brown.
Graham Brown has resigned his seat representing East Devon’s Feniton and Buckerell Ward with immediate effect following claims he made about the local planning system to undercover Daily Telegraph reporters. In his resignation statement he cited his reasons as ‘unbearable media pressure’.
Earlier today the council referred Mr Brown’s comments to the police under the Bribery Act 2010 and its own policy on Fraud, Theft and Anti-Corruption, saying that the comments warranted independent examination by the police, who may choose to investigate further.
Mr Brown’s resignation means there will be a by-election in the Ward, and the council will release more details on the process as soon as they are available.
Mark Williams, Chief Executive of East Devon District Council said:
“Graham Brown has tendered his resignation with immediate effect.
“Although Graham Brown has not been a member of our planning committee his comments still raised serious issues and we have responded to them quickly, firmly and fairly. Given our earlier referral of the issue to the police I do not wish to comment any further at this stage, other than to reassure the public that we will cooperate fully and openly if the police decide to investigate.
“We continue to carefully assess the situation pending a response from the police, and any possible investigation under the Councillor Code of Conduct is on hold until we have that response.”
In a statement accompanying his resignation former Cllr Brown maintained that he has not broken the law but had ‘misjudged the situation’. His statement read:
“It is with great regret that I have decided today to step down and resign my position as an East Devon District Councillor due to the unbearable media pressure from the Daily Telegraph.
“I wish to announce a full apology to my councillor colleagues across the whole political spectrum at East Devon and to the East Devon District Council officers for my disparaging remarks.
“I would like to add that I stand by the fact that although I thoroughly misjudged the situation, I remain firm in the knowledge that I have not broken the law and will work to clear my name of any wrongdoing.”