Councillor could face party rebuke

HE may have been cleared to remain a member of two local authorities, but today the political future of Tory councillor Keith Myers-Hewitt looks increasingly doubtful.

HE may have been cleared to remain a member of two local authorities, but today the political future of Tory councillor Keith Myers-Hewitt looks increasingly doubtful.

An Adjudication Panel hearing this week decided that Mr Myers-Hewitt, who is a member of Stowmarket Town Council and Suffolk County Council, had made racist remarks in July last year.

At an earlier hearing, the panel heard that during a visit to Stowmarket library he looked at people of Afro-Caribbean and Asian origin using computers in the library and said: "Have aliens landed or is it an invasion of darkies? I suppose they are e-mailing their friends."

Mr Myers-Hewitt said he had been talking about his son's interest in science fiction – and had been making a reference to the "dark side".


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However this had been contradicted by his wife who said that was an expression he would never use.

The panel did not accept his explanation however it said that while he had brought himself into disrepute by the remark – and his subsequent denial of having said it – he did not breach Stowmarket Town Council's code of conduct.

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Therefore it decided no action should be taken against him.

However the Conservative group at Suffolk County Council is expected to consider his position once the full judgement of the Adjudication Panel is published next month.

Group leader Jeremy Pembroke would not comment on the case until he had seen the whole document.

He said: "It must be remembered that the case was already in the public domain when Mr Myers-Hewitt fought and won his county council seat in Stowmarket in May."

The case was taken to the Adjudication Panel by the Standards Board for England which will study the findings in detail.

A spokeswoman for the board said: "We are waiting to receive the full reasoning behind the panel's decision but we could contest the decision."

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