Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cllr Churchill - fall from grace

With the imminent demise of Cllr Ken Churchill's political career over being struck off as being a physiotherapist by the HPC for a inappropriate sexual relationship, there are a few lessons those in power need to heed.

Where did Ken go wrong?

Whilst the HPC made a decision based on the "balance of probabilities" not the much higher level of criminal "beyond reasonable doubt" much of this was based on the evidence of one 72 year old woman. Ken didn't help himself by bringing along patient notes to the hearing. These should have been given over to the investigation team during the investigation. This could have meant the allegations were dealt with before a hearing was convened.

So what should Ken have done once the decision HPC decision was known to him? His first port of call would be the leaders of the County and District Council Groups to inform them of the HPC decision. Ken should then have taken to the backbenches and relinquished chairmanships and memberships of the various committee and panels.

Ken should have then pre-empted the announcement of the decision by making a press statement and saying he would continue to fight to clear his name.

Because Ken obviously didn't inform his leaders, they had to take action which led to press coverage. The Leaders had to be seen to take action. The County Council Group was far more robust than the District Council Group. This is for the Conservatives to decide.

The problem I have with all this is this is being struck off from a professional body rather than a criminal offence. Whilst I don't like what was found by the HPC, it should ultimately be up either Ken Churchill or the electors of Little Paxton and North St Neots to decide his fate as a Councillor.

Whilst the term suspension has been used Ken has effectively been booted out of the Conservatives for 6 months. After which he can apply to rejoin.

If I were Ken I would say "stuff it" and resign the lot.

Statements like this don't help his cause:

 “The meeting went very well. I gave a presentation and showed all the evidence that was less than credible."
"A secret ballot was then taken and the outcome of that ballot was that I should remain in the group."
“Now I have the backing of the district group’s resolution and the Conservative Association.”
The fact that a majority of the group are against you doesn't mean you have the backing of the District Conservative Group. In fact that a majority voted against you means they looked at Ken's presentation and the less than credible evidence and still voted to get rid of Ken from the group. If Ken's presentation was anything like the statement above no wonder the Conservatives voted twice to suspend him.

Ken, your colleagues are trying to tell you something and that is your not wanted in the Conservative Groups.

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