Stoke & Staffordshire

Stoke-on-Trent councillor 'wanted elf to sit on knee'

Councillor Richard Broughan Image copyright Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Image caption Richard Broughan has insisted he will not step down

A brandy-drinking councillor made sexual remarks about a woman dressed as an elf, a misconduct hearing has heard.

Stoke-on-Trent City councillor Richard Broughan said he wanted her to "sit on his knee" at the family Christmas event in Abbey Hulton, the panel was told.

It ruled that he had brought the authority into disrepute.

Carmaine Whitehouse, investigating officer for the council, said: "A councillor should behave in a statesmanlike manner."

The panel concluded he must have training on the code of conduct.

It accepted evidence given by police community support officers that Mr Broughan had put brandy in his coffee at the gathering in November 2015 - in what was an alcohol-free zone - and that he made the sexual remarks about the woman, who was dressed as a Santa's grotto elf.

Following the hearing, Mr Broughan, a City Independent councillor, said he respected the decision, but added: "I don't think I would be doing my residents any kind of service if I did stand down."

The leader of the City Independents now has has six weeks to report back to the council about whether he as a party leader wishes to impose any punishments.

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