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Standards board member accused over FoI releases

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A Standards for England board member faces a probe over his alleged tampering with the content of Freedom of Information responses.

Kirklees MC leader Mehboob Khan (Lab) has been accused by a local newspaper of interfering with responses to requests for information on unpaid council tax, the cost of Christmas decorations and the council’s employment of celebrities.

The Huddersfield Examiner said it discovered discrepancies between the original responses prepared by officers, and those approved for release by Cllr Khan, when it put in a request for disclosure of correspondence between him and officers concerned with FoI matters.

It had asked about rates of unpaid council tax for the past 15 years, how much was spent on Christmas decorations and whether the council employed celebrities for promotional work and at what cost. Kirklees’ standards committee is now to consider the matter.

Cllr Khan is Labour’s councillor representative on the Standards for England board. He was re-elected unopposed as leader of Labour’s minority administration at the council’s 25 May annual meting

He said: “The complaint has now been referred to the monitoring officer and I will of course co-operate fully with their enquiry.

“I understand that as part of the process I will have the opportunity to speak to the monitoring officer and explain my position, and I look forward to doing so.”

 

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