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Councillor under investigation following porn allegation

Date published: 01 February 2008


A Rochdale councillor has been accused of inappropriate behaviour by a policewoman who recently attended his house. In a complaint to Rochdale Council Chief Executive, Roger Ellis, the policewoman is believed to have accused Liberal Democrat councillor for Milnrow and Newhey, Councillor Denis Whittle, of showing her pornographic images.

Margaret Carney, Executive Director, Rochdale Borough Council said: "We have received a complaint, which is being investigated."

Councillor Alan Taylor, Leader of the Council said: “I am aware that serious allegations have been made against Councillor Whittle.  I have met with the Deputy Leader of the Council and we have agreed to meet Denis to discuss these allegations.  If the allegations are proved to be correct then the Liberal Democrat Whip will be removed from Councillor Whittle and he will be asked to stand down from the Council.  The behaviour of any representative of our group should be beyond reproach.  We will not tolerate any behaviour that brings the role of a Councillor into disrepute.”

Lib Dem colleagues of Mr Whittle have been shocked by the allegation and though publicly insisting that Mr Whittle is innocent until proven guilty, privately accept that his position is probably untenable given the allegation has been made by a policewoman, and though not willing to go on the record, a number have said aspects of his behaviour, such as turning up for meetings under the influence of alcohol, have also been a cause for concern.

Councillor Elwyn Watkins has asked for Councillor Whittle's circumstances to be taken into account, he said: "Denis' wife has been severely ill over the past few years. He has been her carer which is a 24/7 job. Having seen my mother do this for my father, I know how stressful and difficult this can be.

His oldest child has been diagnosed with cancer.

Earlier this year, Denis was diagnosed with a brain tumour. This was later diagnosed as a brain infection. He is on extremely strong drugs to mitigate against the pain."

Councillor Whittle declined the opportunity to comment.

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