Would-be council leader who was expelled from party is re-instated
Ian McCord was suspended hours before the leadership vote
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By Natalie Bloomer
A councillor who was suspended from the Conservative Party just hours before a vote took place which could have seen him become the leader of West Northamptonshire Council has been reinstated.
McCord was seen as one of the main challengers to Cllr Jonathan Nunn who went on to be elected as leader of the unitary authority.
Cllr McCord was suspended on May 11th but was not told at that time the reasons for this. Later that month Cllr Pinder Chauhan, who is chair of McCord’s South Northamptonshire Conservative Party, wrote to him to say the action was taken due to allegations of bullying. He was later expelled from the party.
Now the Conservative Party HQ has upheld McCord’s appeal against the decision and he has been re-instated with immediate effect.
The appeal panel found that one of the complaints was ‘of a personal nature; it did not appear to the Panel that such allegations could form the basis of an allegation that Cllr McCord was in breach of any rules, or that they support an allegation of bullying, breaking trust and confidence or of being dishonest.’
The appeal panel said another of the complaints had been ‘been dealt with previously, should not be resurrected.’
The appeal notice said the panel had not seen any evidence to support Cllr McCord’s contention that the ‘evidence was contrived so as to harm his leadership ambitions.’
McCord is the former leader of South Northamptonshire Council and was appointed as leader of the West Northamptonshire shadow unitary by central government.
In a statement this morning, Cllr McCord said he’d ‘been to hell and back in the last twelve months’ and he is ‘pleased to be exonerated’. He said he is now hoping for an apology.