Page last updated at 21:32 GMT, Monday, 2 March 2009

Arrested councillor stands down

Roger Ibbs
Mr Ibbs said he had been "willingly helping" police

A councillor arrested on suspicion of corruption in public office has stood down as a group leader on Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

Roger Ibbs, who had been leader of the Conservative and Independent Alliance, was arrested on Friday.

Mr Ibbs said he could not go into the inquiry details but said it came after a complaint he made to the council.

The city's elected mayor Mark Meredith said it was "right and proper" for Mr Ibbs to stand down at this time.

Mr Meredith has taken over responsibility for the city's schools.

Mr Ibbs, who has been released on bail, said in a statement he had been "willingly helping" the police.

He said he had decided to stand down as leader of the group while "the matter now in the public domain is resolved".

'Difficult time'

Mr Ibbs said it had been "a most difficult time" for him and his family.

He added: "I hope that this matter can be fully investigated as quickly as possible and come to a swift conclusion."

Staffordshire Police said the city council had contacted them in December following an internal council inquiry.

Mr Meredith said: "This is the right decision for Councillor Ibbs and for Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

"Councillor Ibbs is facing a serious allegation and needs time and space to deal with it."

He added: "The council cannot afford any distractions. Its focus must be on helping the people of this city through the economic downturn."

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SEE ALSO
Councillor arrest over corruption
28 Feb 09 |  Staffordshire

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