Bribery investigation councillor Graham Brown resigns
East Devon District Council has this evening recieved the resignation letter of Councillor Graham Brown.
Cllr Brown has resigned his seat representing East Devon's Feniton and Buckerell Ward with immediate effect.
This morning the council referred Mr Brown's comments to the police under the Bribery Act 2010 and its own policy on Fraud, Theft and Anti-Corruption, saying that the comments warranted independent examination by the police.
A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesperson confirmed they were looking into the matter but no decision had been made on whether to investigate further.
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Mark Williams, Chief Executive of East Devon District Council said:"Grah am Brown has tendered his resignation with immediate effect.
"Although Graham Brown has not been a member of our planning committee his comments still raised serious issues and we have responded to them quickly, firmly and fairly. Given our earlier referral of the issue to the police I do not wish to comment any further at this stage, other than to reassure the public that we will cooperate fully and openly if the police decide to investigate.
"We continue to carefully assess the situation pending a response from the police, and any possible investigation under the Councillor Code of Conduct is on hold until we have that response."
In a statement accompanying his resignation former Cllr Brown maintained that he has not broken the law but had 'misjudged the situation'. His statement read:
"It is with great regret that I have decided today to step down and resign my position as an East Devon District Councillor due to the unbearable media pressure from the Daily Telegraph.
"I wish to announce a full apology to my councillor colleagues across the whole political spectrum at East Devon and to the East Devon District Council officers for my disparaging remarks.
"I would like to add that I stand by the fact that although I thoroughly misjudged the situation, I remain firm in the knowledge that I have not broken the law and will work to clear my name of any wrongdoing."