EALING'S only UKIP councillor is facing calls for his resignation a standards probe ruled he had made 'provocative' and 'inappropriate' comments’ about Indian people in Southall.
The Standards Committee decided Benjamin Dennehy breached the councillors' code of conduct when he made the remarks which said Indian people 'exploit their own people in squalid third world living conditions', that 'criminality is endemic in Southall' and the high number of illegal immigrants in the area was a 'constant on the public purse'.
On Wednesday (May 22) three councillors and three non-politicans ruled he had failed to treat others with respect and brought both the council and his office into disrepute with his blog post in March last year.
Mr Dennehy, a former Tory councillor who defected to UKIP, refused to apologise and said £5,000 of taxpayers money had been wasted on an unnecessary inquiry.
He said: “In a free and democratic country I am allowed to be provocative. I am allowed to raise issues of public concern. I would give some credit to this report if a resident or residents had complained. But this is a complaint by one councillor from a different political party leaning against another.”
But the council said the blog post had upset residents, adding in a statement: “The committee had particular regard to evidence that a number of residents had been offended by the blog post and that councillor Dennehy had declined to issue an appropriate apology.”
A public notice to be published in the Gazette next week will give councillor Dennehy a slap on the wrist and the council have called for an apology but there will be no further punishment. She said after the introduction of the Localism Act 2012 there were ‘very few sanctions available to the council’.
Liberal Democrat leader Gary Malcolm who made the official complaint said the only reason the inquiry cost so much was because Mr Dennehy tried to use the Human Rights Act to defend himself, dragging out the proceedings and forcing the council to consult a QC.
He said: “I am glad the standards committee came to the view councillor Dennehy was guilty. In my view he should resign his post and apologise publicly for his offensive actions. To smear Indians and residents of Southall with such accusations is totally wrong. He has embarrassed himself and Ealing.”