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Friday, 13 September, 2002, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
Council leader resigns
Lincolnshire County Council
The council has been dogged by scandal
The leader of Conservative-controlled Lincolnshire County Council has resigned.

Jim Speechley announced he was stepping down with immediate effect at a full council meeting on Friday morning.

Last month he was asked by his own party to "consider his position" and the leader was again discussed at a meeting on Monday.

The council leader had been under pressure to resign after he was heavily criticised in an independent auditor's report.

Councillor Jim Speechley
Jim Speechley was criticised in an audit report

The report said Councillor Speechley had misused his powers, had intimidated an employee and breached the council's code of conduct.

Mr Speechley said in his resignation speech: "Winston Churchill was showing some of his constituents round the House of Commons and he was asked where he actually sat.

"He pointed out 'this is where I sit' and one of his constituents said 'I suppose the enemy sits over there'.

"Winston replied 'no that is the opposition over there, the enemy sits behind me'."

He was investigated by the police in 2001 following complaints he failed to declare an interest in a road scheme.

But charges related to his alleged failure to declare an interest in plans to build the A1073 bypass in Crowland, south Lincolnshire, were later dropped.

The councillor owned land close to the proposed by-pass, but said he did not declare an interest because it did not fall directly under the route of the by-pass.

The resignation takes immediate effect, with Dennis Hoyes replacing Mr Speechley as leader of the authority until an emergency meeting on 4 October.


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12 Jun 02 | England
05 Dec 01 | England
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