THE Labour Party have been forced to suspend yet another Labour Councillor, meaning that six Councillors have been suspended by the party across the country in just one week.
In March, Councillor Ed Malcolm, the ward member for Simonside and Rekendyke, was the focus of a South Tyneside Council Standards Committee in relation to a complaint lodged back in 2020.
For many years, Cllr Malcolm combined his position as cabinet member for resources and innovation, which included responsibility for developing the council’s annual budget, with a role as chair of South Tyneside Homes (STH).
However a formal investigation was triggered after concerns were raised about Cllr Malcolm’s apparent failure to raise this at meetings when local authority rules state he should have.
The role included a £10,000-per-year allowance as the chair of the board at South Tyneside Homes, an arms-length management organisation created by South Tyneside Council to manage its council homes.
Cllr Malcolm’s allowance for serving as chair of the board was classed as a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI).
Despite correctly registering the DPI on the council’s register of members’ interests, an investigation found that he failed to declare the position at a number of council meetings when he should have, including full council.
The Labour Party refused to comment on Cllr Malcolm’s situation but did state that all complaints about members are taken “very seriously”.
A spokesperson for the Labour Party said: “The Labour Party does not comment on individual cases.
The Councillor’s suspension comes after five others were suspended by the party in the past seven days. Among them was Councillor Jim Hobson from Blackpool who was found to have worn ‘black face’ and cross-dressed for a photograph from 2013.
6 in a week, with many more to come no doubt… Good old Smarmy…