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LABOUR CLLR WHO HOLIDAYED WITH CORRUPT CONTRACTOR REINSTATED

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A Labour councillor who resigned his committee posts after revelations that he holidayed at a villa owned by a corr...
A Labour councillor who resigned his committee posts after revelations that he holidayed at a villa owned by a corrupt council contractor has been reinstated as a full member of the Labour group.

The Newcastle Journal (p13) reports that cllr John Donnnelly was welcomed back to the Labour group 48 hours after eight members of staff of Alan Davison Construction pleaded guilty to defrauding Sunderland and Newcastle City Councils out of £142,000.

Cllr Donnelly resigned as deputy leader of Sunderland City Council and chair of Newcastle Airport after revelations of the holiday at Mr Davison's villa, and another holiday in a time-share owned by Partner in Property boss Russell Fraser, the Journal reports.

He said he paid for both holidays himself but breached the code of conduct by not declaring his links with the men.

Alan Davison, the sole shareholder of the company, was jailed for 21 months yesterday for his part in a three-year operation to fix new bids for council contracts. The firm had road surfacing contracts worth more than £2.5m a year with the two authorities.

The Newcastle Journal reported (26 Sept p12) that the eight men, who all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obtain by deception, took part in a plan to invoice the councils for non-existent road materials based on scores of forged weighbridge tickets for their lorries.

Judge Denis Orde said he had no doubt the fraud allowed Davison to fix new bids for council contracts at a lower than normal level.

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