A leading Tory councillor has been suspended from the party’s group on Fenland Council after a meeting last night (Thursday).
Councillor Kit Owen, who has been a local councillor for nearly 35 years, has been suspended from Fenland’s ruling party for six months from yesterday following allegations that he mis-used his council computer to download pornographic images. Something he has always vehemently denied.
Mr Owen, who was one of the most senior members of Fenland’s cabinet until his resignation in February, when he stepped down citing ‘personal reasons’, said he was very disappointed and a bit surprised by the group’s decision.
“I was able to make a statement at the start of the group meeting and then I left. I understand there was a lengthy discussion and I was told of the decision at just after 7.35pm. I am disappointed because in my view there is no proof beyond reasonable doubt I did anything wrong,” said Mr Owen, who has always maintained the images appeared on his computer thanks to a virus.
He pointed out he has three personal computers at home and had no reason to use the council-provided computer if he was looking to do something like this.
“It just doesn’t make any sense. I took the computer in to be fixed because of the virus and explained what had happened. If I had done anything wrong why would I be so stupid as to admit it. I have been using computers since the 1960s and this is the first time anything like this has happened.
“The computer was only about a week old, and obviously the Firewalls and Virus protection on it was not working properly. I innocently clicked on something and the images started to appear. There was nothing I could do to stop them,” said Mr Owen, who has accused certain group members of staging a ‘witch hunt’ against him.
“There are certainly a few members - four or five - who have been running a ‘witch hunt’ but I don’t know what their motives or reasons are for doing that,” added Mr Owen.
He said the suspension would not impact on his ability to function as a town and district councillor and he would continue to represent his constituents in all ward issues.
And he also said he would not consider leaving the Conservative party altogether.
“I have been a Tory since I was five-years-old and I have no intention of changing. But I am very disappointed and saddened that the group has made this decision against me,” he concluded.