The former leader and finance lead of Croydon Council in the run-up to the authority’s financial collapse have both announced that they are resigning as councillors, forcing two by-elections.
Tony Newman and Simon Hall have both slammed a report from the Local Government Association’s Richard Penn as being inaccurate.
The report, which has not been published, led to the pair being suspended from the national Labour party last month.
Ex-leader Mr Newman and former finance head Mr Hall both announced their resignations as councillors on Twitter yesterday afternoon.
Mr Hall was a New Addington North councillor for 14 years and says a “concerted attempt” to scapegoat him as the council faces a financial crisis has made his position untenable. He stepped down from his role as cabinet member for finance in October.
Mr Newman also stepped down as leader in October and yesterday said: “Today I stand down as a councillor after 27 years, your support has been immense and it’s been an honour to serve.
“Re Penn I have advice from leading counsel and there are many issues – draft report factually inaccurate & baseless allegations it is a witch hunt and a shambles.”
In a statement posted on his Twitter account this afternoon Mr Hall said he and his family have had to take extra security measures following harassment.
He said: “A draft report which has not been fact-checked and was, in any case, deeply flawed has been used as the basis of complaints to the council’s Ethics Committee and the Labour Party. The legal advice I have received regarding the flawed report is damning about its content.
“There has been a baseless attempt to scapegoat me, as I have always acted in the best interest of New Addington and Croydon.
“If all of this were not serious enough, there has been an invasion of my and my family’s privacy and harassment, which has led to me having to take additional security measures to keep me and my family safe, on the advice of the police.
“The toll of the recent concerted attempt to scapegoat me has been considerable for me personally and my family. All this has made the situation untenable. This is why I am resigning as a councillor with immediate effect.”
In the statement Mr Hall said it has been an honour to serve as a councillor for New Addington.
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