May 26 2013 Latest news:
Alistair Kleebauer, Senior reporter
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
A veteran Redbridge councillor has said the decision to expel him from the borough’s Conservative group is “totally unjust”.
Cllr Harold Moth, 68, a Fullwell ward councillor, was expelled from the Tory group last night following a row over plans for an Olympics car park in Barkingside.
He made “unacceptable allegations” against fellow group members according to Cllr Keith Prince, the Conservative leader of Redbridge Council.
But Cllr Moth, a Redbridge councillor for 34 years, said today: “I feel I’m being made a scapegoat.
“I questioned the procedure that had gone on.
“I feel it’s totally unjust.
“I will continue to fight for the electorate to the best of my abilities. I know it will be difficult when you’re one against large groups.”
Redbridge Council offered the playing fields by Starch House Lane to private bidders to run a 500-vehicle car park from July 27 to August 10.
But the plans were scrapped after residents started a petition.
Cllr Prince said: “The decision [to expel Cllr Moth] was reluctantly taken following an incident in group for which Cllr Moth has refused to apologise.
“We had a group meeting and he made some allegations against other group members and we felt it was unacceptable.
“He made a statement that questioned the propriety of more than one member.”
The group meeting took place last month and Cllr Moth was expelled by the group following a further meeting at Redbridge Town Hall in High Road, Ilford.
He had been interviewed by Cllr Prince and Cllr Michelle Dunn, the deputy leader of the Conservative group, as part of the group’s disciplinary procedure.
He has not been expelled from the Conservative Party and will serve as an Independent councillor.
Cllr Moth said he may be able to appeal the decision to a Conservative area group.
Mr Moth resigned from the group as recently as September 2010 to stand as an Independent before rejoining.
He has served on Redbridge Council from 1974 to 1994 and then from 1998.