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Swanley Town councillors court controversy once again in Labour row
5:20pm Friday 31st January 2014 in News
SWANLEY Town Council is once again being dogged by controversy after a councillor was chucked out of his local party over claims he passed on confidential information.
Former deputy leader Councillor Robert Woodbridge has had the whip withdrawn and been told he can no longer be a Labour councillor.
Councillor Mark Fittock claims he passed on confidential information to a Conservative councillor, an allegation Cllr Woodbridge strongly denies.
He told News Shopper the way he has been treated by Swanley Town Council Labour Group breaches the Human Rights Act.
He said: ""I have had to make formal complaint to the Secretary of the Sevenoaks Constituency Labour Party concerning Cllr Fittock and the way he has treated me.
"I just want a chance to state my case fairly - you wouldn't treat a bank robber in a court of law like this.
"I have also complained to various people in the party to say my case has been discussed at all levels which means they will be prejudiced against me and I can’t be ‘tried’ fairly. I even wrote to Ed Miliband but haven’t heard back.
"I’ve been a Labour Party member since 1995."
Councillor Mark Fittock told News Shopper: "I have no comment to make on this subject other than there is a robust complaints procedure in place and I would encourage anyone to follow this process."
Swanley Town Council’s chequered history
May 2008: Then deputy leader Councillor Woodbridge calls police and alleges Hextable parish Councillor Deidre Morris threatened to hit him with a gavel following the meeting. Police did not pursue the matter.
September 2010: Labour Councillor Ian Rashbrook is accused of assaulting Tory Cllr Tony Henley at a meeting by poking him in the neck.
October 2011: Ex-mayor Janet Sargeant is asked to hand in her mayor and consort badges after Cllr Searles accused her of "impersonating the mayor" at public events. Cllr Sargeant denied the claims.
February 2012: Then Labour candidate Robert Woodbridge narrowly secures the White Oak ward seat, beating Tory opponent Nicola Hill who had been fired in November for not attending a council meeting in six months.
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