Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sex-surf councillor gets his seat back

A MAN forced to resign from Allerdale and Maryport councils for using council computers to surf sex sites has been co-opted back on to Maryport Town Council.

It has been alleged by a former town mayor that Kevin Smith was voted back by councillors trying to keep out a BNP candidate.

As a result, ex-mayor Tony Johnstone has resigned from the Labour group in protest and is now sitting as an Independent councillor.

Mr Smith, of Camp Road , Maryport, quit Allerdale after being confronted with a list of adult website pages he had visited. He had signed a code of conduct which stipulated that the council’s computers were not for personal use.

Mr Smith, 42 at the time, had represented Maryport on Allerdale’s Netherhall Ward for 10 years and had been a councillor for 18 years.

He quit both positions and also resigned as secretary of Labour’s Solway branch.

Mr Smith could not be contacted this week but at the time of the incident he said he had gone on to the websites to see what the internet was all about. He said: “It was just the curiosity of a red-blooded male.”

Keith Little, leader of Maryport’s Labour group, said: “He had been looking up sites with material you can see on television after 9pm any day of the week.”

Coun Little denied that Mr Smith had been readmitted to council to keep out a BNP candidate.

He said: “We had four vacancies to fill on the council. We advertised them and we received nominations, including one from a BNP candidate. When the council voted on the nominations, Mr Smith was among the winners.

“It is a long time since he broke council rules. He was a good councillor and, from what I understand, he still gets people approaching him on council business.”

But Coun Johnstone said he believed that Labour members had chosen Mr Smith over Stephen Harris, a BNP candidate, because they were concerned about having a BNP councillor.

He said: “Stephen is a local lad. He was not standing for council because of any interest in national politics but because he wanted to serve Maryport.”


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