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Vindicated - but angry

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Dunoon independent councillor Michael Breslin has been cleared by the Standards Commission for Scotland of five of six charges laid against him.


The case against Cllr Breslin followed complaints made by four senior officers of Argyll and Bute Council.


Full story in tomorrow's paper.


Following the news other councillors have been reacting.


Cllr George Freeman wrote: "Anyone who understands this ruling will realise that it has major implications for all councillors and on what we can now say and do and will be welcomed by all fair minded people who believe in free speech.


"A good day for democracy."


Cllr James Robb responded: "I suppose Article 10 also allows officers to make robust and critical comments about councillors but I suspect they will show some restraint. It won’t change the culture of secrecy that currently prevails. It doesn’t get us any further forward in getting actual answers to questions or timely responses. 


"Both 'sides' will claim some sort of victory from this but it does nothing for the council going forward."


In the meantime Cllr Breslin has written to the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life (ECHR), Mr Bill Thomson, making it clear that he considers the commissioner ignored ECHR throughout the investigation and in his reports. 


He added: "I have said to Mr Thomson today I consider that he and his staff were negligent in ignoring ECHR and I have said I will be pursuing compensation and an apology."


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