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Councillor Whittle denies porn allegations

Date published: 13 February 2008


Milnrow and Newhey Councillor Denis Whittle has vigorously denied showing a police officer pornographic images.  The Lib Dem Councillor, the Chairman of the Pennines Planning Committee has been warned though of his future conduct.  A meeting was held this week between Denis, Council Leader Alan Taylor and Chief Executive Roger Ellis.  The police have confirmed that they are not pursuing the matter.

Councillor Taylor said: “We met with Denis and although he has vigorously denied the offence of showing her pornographic material he accepts that his jokes were not in the best taste.  I have accepted his explanation but we have warned him about his future conduct.  

"When any political party receive complaints about their members they are duty bound to investigate and we have duly done that.  I hope that Denis will continue to play a role in our party – especially his stance against anti-social behaviour and youth nuisance in Milnrow and Newhey. 

"The police officer was obviously offended by this but this seems to be a joke that has got out of control.  A game of ‘Chinese Whispers’ has obviously taken place at Littleborough Police Station.  This has led to a gross exaggeration of the events of December and the allegations ‘leaked’ to the media. 

"I hope that police bosses will be brief their officers on appropriate behaviour in the same way I have done with Denis.  I hope that the police can get on with their job of combating crime and anti-social behaviour instead of gossip and innuendo!”

Councillor Denis Whittle said: “I was shocked to hear these allegations and I completely deny them.  Yes, I accept that the jokes I showed her were unacceptable and I will be careful in future. 

"A number of people have contacted me with their support and I thank them. 

"The mobile phone I used was actually my wifes and she is puzzled by this story.”

Senior figures in Rochdale Labour Party have reacted with astonishment to the announcement; Labour Group leader, Councillor Allen Brett, said that by accepting Councillor Whittle’s explanation, the Liberal Democrats were, in effect, calling the police officer who made the complaint a liar.

“Denis Whittle has kept very quiet about these allegations for several weeks and the implications of today’s denial could be very damaging to police relations in Rochdale,” he said. “In accepting Councillor Whittle’s explanation, is the Council leader saying that he believes the complaint made by a police officer was a lie?

“We are calling on the police officer to defend her honour and clarify the nature of her complaint.”

Rochdale’s Labour Parliamentary Candidate, Simon Danczuk, added his support to Councillor Brett’s remarks, noting that it was not at all helpful for local politicians to be publicly questioning the integrity of police officers.

“It would have been very helpful if Councillor Whittle had denied these allegations straight from the beginning,” he said. “Why has he let several weeks pass before deciding to defend himself?  These were serious allegations and could well damage the reputation of local politics in Rochdale.

“For this investigation to be seen as being sufficiently serious and proper I think we need to know what is the view of the Council’s chief executive, Roger Ellis? Has he seen the alleged material that was shown to a police officer and does he consider this matter now closed?”  


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