Discover more from Counter Cut
Brum Council Leader ‘anaemic when it comes to integrity’ – row over thieving Councillor continues
Cllr Deakin has apologised for his 'awful mistake' but Conservative Councillors have pressed for a Standards Investigation.
Labour Councillor Jack Deakin found himself in the spotlight once again last week as Conservative Councillors pressed him and the Leader of the Council, Cllr Ian Ward, over his integrity.
It was reported in August by the Huffington Post that Cllr Deakin, who unusually represents two wards on different Councils in separate counties, had drunkenly stolen a light fitting from a city-centre pub. The Birmingham and North Warwickshire Councillor has since apologised and returned the stolen item.
We are an independent news and opinion site in the West Midlands - we have a FREE weekly newsletter. Join our subscribers:
But Conservative Councillors at last week’s full Council Meeting questioned Cllr Deakin on his actions. Cllr Matt Bennett (Edgbaston, Con) asked:
“The Scrutiny Committee of which you are Chair includes oversight of the legacy of the Commonwealth Games. Can he explain how, in your view, reports in the Birmingham Mail that claim you stole from a city centre bar during those games reflect the legacy this city wants and the image we, as a Council, want to project to the world during this time in the global spotlight?”.
Cllr Deakin’s response was to highlight his apology and inform the Councillors present that the national Labour Party had “taken action”.
Unsatisfied with that response, Councillor Ewan Mackey (Roughley, Con) went further, calling on the Leader of the Council to issue a standards complaint against Cllr Deakin in light of his actions and failure to uphold the Nolan principles of public life, including integrity, accountability and honesty.
He said, “We’re talking about a councillor here who has basically brought the Council into disrepute… the message that you give as Leader of the Council… [is] that people can take things that don’t belong to them.”
Don’t forget to subscribe to our free weekly newsletter. No ads, no spam, no nonsense! Join here:
Cllr Ian Ward responded that there was “nothing further to add”.
Counter Cut spoke to Cllr Mackey following the Council meeting. He told us, “from his answers to my questions, Ian Ward, Leader of the Council, clearly believes it is OK for Cllr Jack Deakin and other publicly elected councillors to take things that don’t belong to them and rely on the Labour Party to conceal any fallout via unrecorded covert meetings away from public view.”
Addressing Cllr Ward’s approach to the matter, he added, “it is shameful that he, as Leader of the Council, the individual responsible for setting the moral tone for councillors and officers, is happy to be so anaemic when it comes to integrity.”
Cllr Deakin, who represents Allens Cross on Birmingham City Council and Coleshill on North Warwickshire Council, has argued that the incident was a “private matter” despite his two positions in public office. Cllr Mackey disagreed - “I think it a matter of public interest that Cllr Deakin feels entitled to take other people’s property without their permission”.
If Deakin’s woes in the Council chamber weren’t enough, he also faces legal action for defamatory comments made on twitter, as we reported in August. Read more on that here:
Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly round-up newsletter for free!