An investigation into the leader of Blackpool Council has been dropped by Labour after he quit the party.
Councillor Simon Blackburn, the now former leader of the council, was suspended by Labour nationally after being accused of sexual harassment and misconduct by a female colleague.
However, despite an investigation going underway, Blackburn has now decided to resign, leading to the national Labour Party saying it has “no powers to investigate non-members”, and the investigation being dropped.
A national Labour Party spokesperson said Mr Blackburn was “no longer a member and this does mean the investigation is dropped”.
Blackburn said he wanted to plan his future with his partner Clare Coghill, who is leader of Waltham Forest Council in London, and spend more time with his children.
“I had been clear with my partner Clare, my family, and my friends, for some time now, that I had no intention of remaining as a councillor beyond the end of my current term in 2023.
“The time has now come therefore to formally state that I wish to withdraw from politics and public service, after 18 years. You need time to prepare for the next election, and that time needs to start now.
“Clare and I have exciting plans for our future together, and our time needs to start now.”
But he added “the length of time this has taken, and the fact that I have handed the leadership (as I had always hoped to do) on to the council’s first ever female leader, means that I have no desire to return to the frontline.”
Shockingly, not only will Blackburn now avoid an investigation into the allegations made against him, but he will be allowed to serve out his time as a councillor until May 2023.
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