Questions over year-long investigation into rogue councillor

Thurrock Gazette: Labour's Ockendon ward councillor Aaron Kiely Labour's Ockendon ward councillor Aaron Kiely

AN ongoing probe into controversial councillor Aaron Kiely sparked by the Gazette has now lasted more than a year.

At the latest council meeting John Kent, the Labour leader of the authority, was pressed about the probe.

While he said that he did not condone Mr Kiely’s poor attendance record for meetings, he would not comment on the investiagtion.

Mr Kiely has often found himself in the firing line in the last 18 months.

A Gazette probe in November 2012 found Kiely had not made a single call on his council mobile phone in six months - and he had been cancelling surgeries with residents in Ockendon, the ward he serves.

The controversial councillor has also landed himself in hot water on a number of occasions over comments made on Twitter. In October 2012, he appeared to tweet in support of radical cleric Abu Hamza.

At the latest council meeting, Thurrock Tory leader Phil Anderson asked Mr Kent: “It is now one year since you gave a commitment to this chamber that you would either manage the issues with Councillor Kiely’s poor attendance and online statements, or manage him out of your party. Are you able to report any progress on either front?”

His question came days after anti-extremism organisation standforpeace.org.uk lambasted Kiely for sharing a platform with Azad Ali - a former civil servant, once suspended amid claims he justified the killing of British troops in Iraq - at a student event in London.

Mr Kent responded: “I have to follow due process on this matter.

“The Labour party rules dictate that issues such as these have to be taken through the party’s hierachies outside of Thurrock and that is what is happening.

“I can confirm that process is underway. Councillor Kiely’s attendance record is not one that I can condone and unfortunately, he is not the only member with such a poor attendance record this year.”

Mr Kent added that Mr Kiely’s attendance record for meetings so far this year was 40 per cent - the same as Tory Wendy Herd.

Comments (1)

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5:12pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Indred Cold says...

Should be expelled from his party and a election called

But Mr Kent would have to grow a pair of balls first
Should be expelled from his party and a election called But Mr Kent would have to grow a pair of balls first Indred Cold

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