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CAMDEN MEMBER'S FITNESS TO HOLD OFFICE CALLED INTO QUESTION BY STANDARDS PANEL

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Camden LBC's standards committee has found that one of the authority's members used inexcusable language in a counc...
Camden LBC's standards committee has found that one of the authority's members used inexcusable language in a council meeting when he claimed a female journalist at a local newspaper had 'the integrity of a used sanitary towel'.

The Evening Standard reports that the standards panel, whose membership includes barrister and ethic expert Lincoln Crawford, Rabbi Julia Neuberger and Mark Hapgood QC, said John Thane's views were 'insulting, defamatory and expressed in utterly inappropriate language'.

His comments 'betray a man who has a deeply inadequate understanding of women'. According to the panel, Mr Thane's words call into question his fitness to hold the office of councillor and he should face a motion of censure at the next full council meeting.

The committee's report states: 'We conclude councillor Thane was guilty of very serious misjudgments before, during and after the meeting' and states that his conduct devalued the council chamber and political debate.

Mr Thane's defence that he had a legitimate grievance against the reporter was rejected by the panel, which ruled that his allegation was 'a very serious imputation of her professional reputation'.

Mr Thane did not apologise to the journalist until some time after his speech and at no point did he retract allegations of professional misconduct which he had also made, the report says.

Camden chief executive Steve Bundred will present the panel's full report to councillors on November 1.

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