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Tories slammed for their attempts to plug Mayoral candidate

PUBLISHED: 19:02 30 April 2008 | UPDATED: 15:47 16 August 2010

A COUNCIL has been blasted for breaking the spirit of election law after the majority party passed a motion backing their Mayoral candidate Boris Johnson. Conservative councillor Nicolas Bennett brought before a full Bromley council meeting on Monday,

A COUNCIL has been blasted for breaking the 'spirit of election law' after the majority party passed a motion backing their Mayoral candidate Boris Johnson.

Conservative councillor Nicolas Bennett brought before a full Bromley council meeting on Monday, April 21 a motion to back Mr Johnson as Mayor for London.

Liberal Democrat councillor Ben Abbotts slammed the Tories, claiming they are abusing their 'colossal majority'.

He said: "They are drunk on power and ignore well established protocols.

"It is inappropriate to use council offices to discuss explicitly party political matters.

"It is an inappropriate use of the councils' time when you could be discussing important issues, such as post office closures which affect local people.

"We have reported the matter to the District Auditor.

"Councillor Bennett seems more comfortable running a sixth form debating class rather than debating the real issues which matter to residents."

Labour councillor Peter Fookes said: "The Tories were party politicking on rates but we wanted to see exactly what was being said. The Tories have gone over the top.

"It is certainly breaking the spirit of election law."

Labour councillor John Getgood said he thought the motion was a waste of the council's time.

He said: "It was the Tories doing what they do, which is spouting a lot of hot air, for no purpose and going nowhere."

Councillor Nicolas Bennett said: "We wanted the electorate to know about our concerns over Ken Livingstone.

"Councillors are elected for political parties, we are not elected as independents.

"It is a Conservative controlled council and we are quite entitled to pass this motion.

"The Liberal Democrats walked out in a hissy fit. They are big girls' blouses.

"All our motions are political, in one way or another.

"It is a perfectly proper use of council time. It is perfectly legitimate."

A spokesperson for the Audit Commission said: "This is not a matter for the Audit Commission.

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