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Anger after board clears Bradley

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The Standards Board for England has come in for fierce criticism after clearing Liverpool City Council leader Warren Bradley of bullying and bringing the council into disrepute.

Labour group leader Joe Anderson branded the body a “complete waste of public money” and said he had “lost all confidence” in the board after it decided not to take action against the Liberal Democrat councillor after a 14-month investigation.

“I think the Standards Board has lost the confidence of many, many people in local government,” said Cllr Anderson, who filed the original complaint against Cllr Bradley in November 2007.

“As far as I’m concerned, I wouldn’t make a referral ever again about anyone’s activity.”

He also suggested the final report contained a number of significant differences from the draft report sent to him and Cllr Bradley at the end of last year.

“They have taken 14 months to complete the investigation and come up with nothing,” he added.

“In my view the original decisions they made in their draft report are completely different to the ones in the final version.”

In comments to the Daily Post , Cllr Bradley said: “I think it has been an absolute the disgrace the way I have been treated, not only by councillors and former officers, but also the Standards Board.”

He refused to elaborate when contacted by LGC, simply saying: “If the government doesn’t think the Standards Board is doing a good job then it’s up to them to do something about it.”

Cllr Bradley was originally referred to the Standards Board over allegations he had made the position of Jason Harborow, chief executive of the Liverpool Culture Company , untenable following the cancellation of the Mathew Street Festival in August 2007.

In a statement the Standards Board said: “Although some cases will always take longer than others, we are working hard to improve our processes, while still ensuring investigations are thorough and fair.”

The Conservatives have a long-standing policy to scrap the Standards Board. Party leader David Cameron last year described it as “a forum for vexatious complaints against councillors”.

Lib Dems call for board to be scrapped

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