Hartlepool Tories call for boycott of council meetings until Gordon Cranney resigns after court conviction for assaulting woman
Gordon Cranney, who won in the borough of Seaton in the Hartlepool Borough Council elections on Thursday, had pleaded guilty to assault in beating at Teesside Magistrates Court on April 28, following an incident on February 6.
He was given a 24-month community order and asked to take part in a Building Better Relationships program, as well as paying a victim surcharge of £95 and paying costs of £85.
The group released a statement on Saturday night saying Mr Cranney had resigned from the board and there would be a by-election.
However, Hartlepool Tories issued a new statement on Sunday expressing concern that Mr Cranney’s resignation has not been formally submitted and he may continue as an adviser.
Tory borough councilors say they will now refuse to attend meetings until Mr Cranney leaves – and are calling on all councilors across the House to do the same.
A statement posted on social media accompanied by a letter from Hartlepool Conservative leader Mike Young read: ‘We formally call on every councilor on Hartlepool Borough Council to decline to attend any further meetings from the board until Councilor Gordon Cranney has honored his previous declaration of resignation. .”
Ray Martin-Wells, associate chairman of the Hartlepool Conservatives, told the Mail that Mr Cranney had not informed either the chief executive or the chief solicitor of Hartlepool Borough Council of his resignation.
“Conservative advisers expect him to honor his original intention to step down,” Mr Martin-Wells said.
“The Conservative Councilors will refuse to take their seats unless he tenders his resignation.”
Mr Cranney has so far not been available to comment.
Hartlepool Borough Council has been approached for comment following allegations of Mr Cranney’s resignation.
The Hartlepool returning officer, responsible for overseeing electoral matters, said last week that the offenses to which Mr Cranney has pleaded guilty do not bar him from running for office or acting as an adviser.
Denise McGuckin, the returning officer, said: ‘I can confirm that I informed the chairman of the Hartlepool Conservative Party as soon as I became aware of this matter.
“Hartlepool Borough Council has also investigated public records held by the court and I can confirm that the breaches do not bar the candidate from standing for election and acting as an adviser.
“A person is disqualified if in the five years before election day – or since being elected – has been convicted in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man of an offense and s is given a prison sentence (with or without suspension) for a period of at least three months without the possibility of a fine”.