'Sorry' fraud councillor Kevin Wilson will not resign

Kevin Wilson
Image caption Kevin Wilson cannot be forced to stand down as his prison sentence was for a period of less than three months

A councillor convicted of benefit fraud has refused to resign but has apologised to his constituents.

Kevin Wilson, of Tiverton, was given a 10-week suspended jail sentence this month for swindling housing and council tax benefits of nearly £4,000.

Mid Devon District Council approved a motion on Wednesday condemning his actions and calling for him to resign.

Wilson said he "couldn't be sorrier" for his actions, but it was for voters to decide whether he should go or stay.

"What I really want to say is how profoundly sorry I am for what I did," he said.

"I want my constituents to understand that this is a very personal apology to them.

"They are the people who put me here and they are the people who should be able to take me away if they wish to do so.

"They will get that democratic opportunity in 2015."

Wilson, formerly a Liberal Democrat councillor and former mayor of Tiverton, now sits on the authority as an independent.

The motion, condemning Wilson's conduct, was proposed by councillor Colin Slade, who said if someone in public office betrayed their position of trust they should "do the decent thing and resign".

Under the Local Government Act, Wilson cannot be forced to stand down from his position on the council as his prison sentence was for a period of less than three months.

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