March 20, 2008

Harassment and bullying claim against BNP's Exley

A councillor who resigned from his job blamed a campaign of "bullying and harassment" by political opponents including Heckmondwike councillor David Exley.

Robert Finnigan, who is leader of Morley Borough Independents and a Leeds councillor for Morley North, quit his role as a senior local government officer based at Cleckheaton's town hall. His resignation emerged following a row with the BNP councillor, with each man lodging a complaint against the other.

Coun Exley complained to Kirklees Council after he discovered that Coun Finnigan was using his work telephone number on literature relating to his business as a councillor. Coun Finnigan counter-attacked with a complaint against Coun Exley, who he said was making political mischief out of an innocent mistake.

Coun Finnigan admitted that the wrong telephone number appeared on a newsletter. He said this was the result of an administrative error by an officer, and produced a letter from the Leeds South Area Management confirming that this was the case.

After 22 years with Kirklees he is stepping down to work full-time as a councillor. He said: "The harassment I have received from Coun Exley and others have made my ability to do both jobs untenable. There's been a systematic campaign of harassment and bullying, including by Coun Exley."

But Coun Exley said taxpayers in Kirklees had a right to know if Coun Finnigan was using resources at work for his business as a councillor. He said: "If pointing out what I feel is improper use of council facilities is harassment then I'm guilty of it. All complaints have to be investigated. I would welcome them to look into it because I will be exonerated. If Robert Finnigan made an innocent mistake, that's different – we all make mistakes. But I don't believe this is one," he added.

Morley Observer

No comments: