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Councillors criticised over attitude towards investigation into email leak

Three Conservative councillors have been found to have brought Lancaster City Council into disrepute.

The three were judged by a standards hearing after a dispute last year in which information about a Labour councillor’s affair with a staff member was leaked from the council’s email system to the Daily Mail.

No suggestion was made that any of the trio leaked the information but the standards committee was dissatisfied with their attitude towards an investigation carried out for it into the matter. The investigation into the leak is expected to continue.

They were all found to have brought the council into disrepute. Peter Yates was additionally found to have misled officers and was removed from the standards committee.

Andrew Gardiner was also found to have intimidated and misled officers, and was censured by the council and John Wild to have bullied an officer. Both councillors were censured.

The report was originally intended for confidential debate by full council, but councillors resolved to take it in public session.

In a separate standards hearing Cllr Gardiner was found to have during an Overton Parish meeting shouted at a member, gesticulated with his spectacles and acted “in such a manner as to cause alarm and distress to another member of the public”.

Mark Smulian