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STATEMENT FROM LIVERPOOL CHIEF EXECUTIVE

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Statement issued 24 May from David Henshaw: ...
Statement issued 24 May from David Henshaw:

'The chief executive of Liverpool City Council, David Henshaw, returned to Liverpool late last night after a short break abroad and has now considered the press coverage of Monday, 23 May.

The reports in the Liverpool Daily Post are deeply disappointing. The chief executive utterly refutes the allegation that he confronted the leader of the council and gave him an ultimatum to quit his post. It is simply not true.

The chief executive is pleased that the Section 151 officer for the city council, Philip Halsall, has published his draft report on these matters, which is to be submitted to a special meeting of the city council.

The report provides prima facie evidence of a conspiracy and collusion between a senior member of the city council and a senior officer on their own in the council, with others outside, to orchestrate a media campaign to force the chief executive out of office.

These actions expose the council to potentially very significant claims for damages for constructive dismissal, damage to reputation and claims under whistle blowing legislation.

The chief executive also utterly refutes that this in any way connected to any pension arrangements discussed over the last few months. This too is simply untrue. Those matters were settled by the council some two months ago. The chief executive is clear that no matter what the personal financial consequences, he will be here to stay and finish the job for the 2008 European Capital of Culture, upon which so much depends for the city.

The chief executive believes that this is a matter about the maintaining the highest standards of public life which have always been at the centre of the chief executive's public service career. The council is under a duty and obligation to report these matters to the National Standards Board for Local Government and the chief executive looks forward to an early judgement of the case so that the business of the city can resume working towards 2008.'

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