A British National Party politician has been ordered to apologise in writing to every other council member for accusing ruling Tories of "murdering" a constituent by forcing her to move.
Mark Logan, member for Gooshays ward, was hauled before the council's standards committee for the allegation he made at a Harold Hill Area Committee meeting in October last year. There, he blamed Havering Council for causing the death of 92-year-old Anne O'Kane because of the stress of a council-enforced eviction - her second in four years.
She had to move from her bungalow in Chippenham Gardens - part of a group of homes being demolished to make way for developments under the council's multi-million pound Harold Hill Ambitions project.
The outburst angered people at the meeting, including Deputy Council Leader Cllr Steven Kelly, who was not on the committee but sitting among residents, and committee member Cllr Keith Darvill (Lab, Heaton). They both made official complaints because they thought Cllr Logan had breached council conduct.
Following a lengthy investigation, a standards consideration sub-committee made up of two councillors - Wendy Brice-Thompson (Con, Rom) and Michael Deon-Burton (ILRG, Rain) - and independent chairman Jack Knowles decided in a closed meeting that Cllr Logan had brought the council into disrepute by making his accusation of murder. They also said he showed no respect for the family of the deceased constituent by naming her.
Cllr Logan was told to make a written apology to the relatives of Ms O'Kane and to write to all other councillors for disrespecting the council. Cllr Logan said: "It cost thousands of pounds to carry out this investigation. If they'd asked me to write a letter of apology in the first place I would have done anyway."
He added: "It was their decision (Conservatives) that decided to sell off those bungalows to a private investor. I should have used a different rhetoric, but I'm still convinced it was the actions of the Conservative administration that caused the death of this constituent because if she hadn't been forced to move she may not have had a heart attack and passed away. She'd been really upset she had to move."
Cllr Logan is awaiting a second standards committee hearing, planned for January, in relation to allegations of misconduct surrounding a dispute with Cllr Mark Gadd over where he lives and whether he has a right to stand as a councillor.