Councillor suspended over ‘liar’ row

Suspended: Labour City Councillor Neil Murray

A Lincoln Labour councillor has been suspended for 14 days over a row with a Conservative councillor.

Carholme Councillor Neil Murray, 52, the executive portfolio holder for planning, policy and economic regeneration, was suspended on June 17.

With Murray out of his post for two weeks, Labour’s stronghold on the City Council goes down from 17 to 16 councillors, matching the 15 Tories and their Lib Dem ally Helen Heath.

The Mayor of Lincoln, Kathleen Brothwell, will hold the casting vote for Labour.

Murray was suspended over allegations he reportedly made at a Full Council, where he accused Conservative Councillor Marc Jones of being a “liar”.

Marc Jones is the deputy leader of the Lincoln Conservative Party, and was the deputy leader of the City Council in the previous administration.

Carolyn Wheater, Head of Corporate Support Services at the City of Lincoln Council, said:

“The council’s Hearing Sub Committee met on June 17 to decide whether Councillor Murray had breached the Member Code of Conduct, in that he failed to treat Councillor Jones with respect by calling him a ‘liar’ during a formal council meeting.

“The Sub Committee found that Councillor Murray did breach the Member Code of Conduct and that he failed to treat Councillor Jones with respect.

“It found that the remark was made during a substantive answer that Councillor Jones was giving to a question posed in Full Council and that the apology Councillor Murray gave was not sufficiently directed to Councillor Jones.

“As a result of these findings, Councillor Murray has been given the sanction of 14 days suspension, with immediate effect.

“He must also issue a written apology to Councillor Jones within seven days. Councillor Murray has 21 days to appeal against the sanction to the Standard for England.

“The sanction posed on Councillor Murray means he is unable to carry out any councillor duties, including ward-based work and attending committee meetings.”

Photo: Lincoln Labour Party