A LIBERAL Democrat councillor has been expelled from the party and is at the centre of a police investigation.

Cllr Sera Kentman, who has represented Whitefoot ward in Lewisham since last May, was axed after breaching rules, which included failing to disclose her debts as a councillor.

News Shopper can reveal Ms Kentman is an undischarged bankrupt, who may have stood illegally at last May's elections.

Under Section 80 of the Local Goverment Act 1972, no-one can stand in an election as a councillor if they are an undischarged bankrupt.

According to Lewisham Council's Liberal Democrat leader Mark Morris other allegations involving Ms Kentman include:

  • A £9,000 overpayment of housing benefit on a house she part owns.
  • Outstanding council tax payments back dating over a year.
  • Her use of a number of different names. Ms Kentman was temporarily suspended three weeks ago from the party and given time to provide information on her debts and proof of her identity.

But on March 8, at the Civic Suite, Catford, she failed to provide the group with any evidence to clarify her status.

Mr Morris said: "We have given her time to come to meetings and provide us with information. She has not done anything.

"We have a rule book and she has breached it. We had no choice but to expel her from the group.

"She has been evasive to her own fellow councillors and is not fit to be a Liberal Democrat councillor or any other councillor of a political party."

A police spokesman said they were not able to comment on the nature of the allegations while enquiries are continuing.

Insolvency practitioner Keith Stevens, who dealt with the case, confirmed a Julia Kibris, one of the other names used by Cllr Kentman, was made bankrupt in 2004 and is still an undischarged bankrupt.

Usually when people declare themselves bankrupt they are automatically discharged from their debts after a year.

But Mr Stevens has confirmed this one year rule does not apply to Cllr Kentman because she has failed to comply with the conditions of a court order made in April 2004.

These conditions included meeting the official receiver's requests and giving income payments, which was agreed at the time of the order made by Croydon County Court.

The Individual Insolvency Register lists Sera Kentman and her alternative names, Julia Kibris, Hulya Kibris, Feliz Guner, and Hulya Guner.

Mr Stevens confirmed that a photograph he saw of Julia Kibris was the same as the photo listed under the name of Sera Kentman on Lewisham Council's website.

He said: "Based on the picture we've seen, we can confirm she's the same lady who stood for Lewisham Council unless she has an identical twin."

Cllr Kentman is now serving as an independent.

A council spokesman said: "We can confirm we referred Cllr Kentman to the Met Police some time ago.

"We are not able to give additional information while the investigation is ongoing, nor can we speculate on any action following the investigation."

News Shopper has been unable to contact Cllr Kentman.