Essex

MBE for bailed ex-council chairman from Essex

Peter Balbirnie
Image caption Peter Balbirnie chaired Tendring council between 2007 and 2008

A former council chairman, who remains on police bail after being questioned over alleged corruption, has been honoured in the Queen's Birthday list.

Peter Balbirnie, 65, of Clacton, ex-chairman of Tendring District Council, has been appointed MBE for services to the community in Essex.

Mr Balbirnie has described the allegations as unfounded.

In a statement issued to the BBC he said: "I am confident that my reputation will be restored".

Police, who said the inquiry was "complex and involved historical offences", said a 65-year-old man had been bailed until 25 August.

'Proud volunteer'

Mr Balbirnie, a former plumbing and heating engineer, was first being arrested by police in June 2009.

He has been a member of the council for more than 28 years, representing the St Osyth ward.

Mr Balbirnie, who represents the Tendring First, chaired the council between 2007 and 2008.

In a statement Mr Balbirnie told the BBC: "I have been proud and privileged to carry out work as a councillor and as a volunteer working for charities I have supported for the past 40 years.

"I would not do anything to compromise these institutions or the people running them."