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Investigation finds former Rutland County Council Richard Alderman did not breach the council's code of conduct


By Sarah Ward, Local Democracy Reporter


An investigation has found that disgraced Rutland councillor Richard Alderman did not breach the council’s code of conduct.

The report by Wilkins LLP, which has been made public this week, found that Mr Alderman, was not acting in an official capacity when he posted a series of offensive comments on social media about national politicians, despite one ‘menacing post’ being made after he was elected.

It also found that in an interview given to the Rutland and Stamford Mercury three days after being elected in July, in which he defended a post, he was not ‘conducting the business of councillor of the council’.

The report does conclude that a comment made by Coun Alderman about MP Diane Abbott was racist.

The council’s conduct committee decided an investigation was needed in November. The month before, the independent councillor had been sentenced to a six month community order and curfew after pleading guilty to offences under the Communications Act.

The report will be discussed by the council’s conduct committee on Tuesday.

Richard Alderman (4400616)
Richard Alderman (4400616)

An investigation has found that disgraced Rutland councillor Richard Alderman did not breach the council’s code of conduct.

The report by Wilkins LLP, which has been made public this week, has found that Mr Alderman, was not acting in an official capacity when he posted a series of offensive comments on social media about national politicians, including Prime Minister Theresa May, despite one ‘menacing post’ being made after he was elected.

It also found that in an interview given to the Rutland and Stamford Mercury three days after being elected in July, in which he defended a post, he was not ‘conducting the business of councillor of the council’.

The report does, however, conclude that a comment made by Cllr Alderman about MP Diane Abbott was racist.

The council’s conduct committee has decided an investigation was needed in November. The month before, the independent councillor had been sentenced to a six month community order and curfew after pleading guilty to offences under the Communications Act.

The report, which will be discussed by the council’s conduct committee on Tuesday (Apr 2), says: “The complaint was referred to us for investigation, the allegations were; Councillor Alderman had:- (i) not treated others with respect; (ii) caused the Council to breach its obligations under the Equality Act 2010; and (iii) brought his office or the Council into disrepute.

“We have concluded that Councillor Alderman was not acting in an official capacity when he posted comments on Facebook and when he was quoted in the Rutland and Stamford Mercury.

“Our conclusion is that there has not been a breach of the code of conduct of the authority concerned by Councillor Alderman.”

The investigation had looked to various case law to come to its conclusion.

It found that: “Had Councillor Alderman been acting in an official capacity on July 15 and 17, 2018 when publishing the post about Theresa May MP PM and making the comment about Diane Abbott, such conduct would have been a serious breach of the code of conduct.”

It also found that a number of posts made prior to his election as councillor would have constituted a serious breach of the code of conduct.

Mr Alderman, who resigned from the council in February after not attending a meeting during his time as a councillor, was elected to the council in a by-election.

Between April and July last year he had made a series of threatening and abusive Facebook posts about public figures including members of the Royal family, which were reported to police and charges were made.

Speaking today (Thursday, March 28) Mr Alderman said: “The report says it all.”

Last month leader of Rutland County Council Oliver Hemsley (Con) said Mr Alderman should pay back to the authority the £2,000 he received in allowances or donate them to charity. The former councillor says he is still undecided on the matter.



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