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‘I did nothing wrong’, insists councillor who reluctantly drops court action

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 25, 2014

Staffs Life Uttoxeter Feature,Andrew Riley

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A COUNCILLOR has said he will begrudgingly accept a ruling that he disclosed confidential information after dropping a judicial review against East Staffordshire Borough Council.

Andrew Riley was preparing to challenge the authority at the Administrative Court in London next month after he was judged to have breached rules by revealing information surrounding the sale of the Carter’s Square car park in Uttoxeter, which he denies.

The Labour councillor, who represents Uttoxeter, told the Mail that he did not know the information he divulged was private, but said due to ‘spiralling costs’ the Labour group had pulled the plug on proceedings.

East Staffordshire Borough Council’s Standards Committee found Councillor Riley to be in breach of its code of conduct, but said it did not impose any sanction on him and that, ‘unusually’, had agreed not to publicise the findings ‘for Councillor Riley’s benefit’.

A borough council spokesman added: “Nevertheless, Councillor Riley sought to challenge the decision. This brought the issue out into the public.

“He has withdrawn his claim before it was due to be heard by the court and agreed to pay a substantial contribution towards the council’s costs.”

Councillor Riley said: “I was not aware the information was private, so I don’t believe I did anything wrong.”

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