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Parsons resigns ahead of crunch meeting

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The former leader of Leicestershire CC and a former candidate for LGA chairman has resigned just one day before a report into his use of expenses was due to be published.

LGC understands that David Parsons (Con) announced his resignation from the party whip minutes after receiving a copy of an internal investigation into his conduct while leader of the council.

The authority’s Conservative group was due to meet on Wednesday afternoon to hear the leader’s verdict and decide whether Cllr Parsons should be suspended or even expelled from the group.

Leicestershire’s new leader, Nick Rushton (Con), told LGC the meeting would go ahead despite Cllr Parsons’ decision to resign. “This is not necessarily about David Parsons anymore, it is about principle,” he said. “The group needs to act as if he hasn’t resigned and show the public and the officer core how we deal with ourselves.”

Cllr Rushton said this was particularly important under the new standards regime which left standards committees with fewer powers of sanction. “We need to show the public they can trust politicians to deal with their dirty laundry,” he said.

The internal Conservative group investigation report is due to be published on Wednesday afternoon and comes after Cllr Parsons received “strong censure” from the council’s standards committee for the way he had failed to reimburse the council for trip to EU meetings.

Expulsion from the Leicestershire county Conservative group would raise questions about Cllr Parsons’ role in Blaby DC’s Conservative group, where Cllr Parsons is also an elected member.

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