Birmingham City councillor Des Hughes has been suspended from the Labour Party pending an investigation into allegations about declared interests.
Hughes, who represents Kingstanding, was notified in writing of his suspension, pending investigation.
Although the Labour Party has refused to disclose the reason behind his suspension, it is understood that it relates to Hughes’ previous links to Birmingham’s Sendiass service (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities information and advice service) which was at the centre of a long running dispute over its remit and future.
The Birmingham Mail have confirmed that: “Cllr Hughes had paid links to the service prior to becoming a councillor. His declared interests, published on the council website, describe his paid employment as Support Officer.
“Labour councillors were informed that Cllr Hughes is unable to take up his duties as the council’s Labour group secretary. He is also not allowed to attend the Labour group’s office in the Council House.
“Councillors have also been advised not to discuss Labour party matters with Cllr Hughes, in line with Labour party processes. He remains a councillor pending the outcome of the investigation now under way.
“We have contacted the Labour Party who have told us they do not comment on suspensions of members pending investigations. We have also contacted Birmingham City Council to ask them to comment amid claims of a standards committee investigation into Cllr Hughes.”
Labour-run Birmingham City Council, the largest local authority in Europe, officially declared bankruptcy this month, with the finger of blame being pointed squarely at its councillors.
The council has previously issued a Section 114 notice that forbids all spending except from on necessities.
Birmingham declared an unofficial spending restriction in June after disclosing a £750 million debt to resolve equal pay claims.
Conservatives have criticised Labour for their inaction on the equal pay bill, which is the equivalent of the whole annual service budget of the council. The council has stated that they will have to reprioritize what they spend tax dollars on as a result of the measure – however, the Labour cabinet appear to be trying to divert blame with a bizarre reason for their own incompetence.
The suspension of Cllr Des Hughes follows a flood of further suspensions of Labour Councillors across the country.
It is, however, Labour’s official policy not to disclose the reason behind suspensions. Worryingly, this led to constituents in Hackney being unaware that a Labour Councillor living yards away from their children had been arrested for possessing child pornography.
VoteWatch earlier reported that Tom Dewey, 36, was charged as part of an NCA investigation into child abuse photographs found at his home. He briefly served as a councillor in Hackney before resigning over the incident – attempting to hide the true reason by citing “personal reasons.”
After years of Labour campaigning, Dewey was elected as a councillor for the De Beauvoir ward in May 2022. However, a month before he was elected to the council, in April 2022, NCA officials detained him at his Hackney house before releasing him while the case was being investigated.
As with most resignations relating to one of their politicians, the national Labour Party failed to disclose the reason behind his suspension – worryingly concealing Dewey’s paedophilia from the local public.
Mr Dewey was charged with three counts of making indecent images of children, possession of extreme pornographic images and possession of prohibited images of children.
in court, the former Labour councillor admitted a charge of making five Category A indecent images of children on 29 April 2022 in Hackney, a further charge of making four Category B indecent images on the same date, as well as making 203 Category C indecent images of children on the same date.
Dewey also admitted to possessing 78 extreme pornographic images of children on 29 April 2022, and having 1,523 prohibited images of children in his possession on or before 20 January 2022.
Dewey’s resignation triggered a by-election which saw Joseph Walker elected in July last year, with 758 votes out of 1,822.
This month, Dewey shockingly managed to avoid a prison sentence, with a judge handing him community service.