Cornwall Council: Bid to oust leader Julian German fails

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Julian German
Image caption,
Julian German was accused him of breaking ethical standards for keeping deputy leader Adam Paynter

A council leader has defeated an attempt to oust him over his support for a sanctioned deputy.

Conservative councillors put forward a motion to remove Independent Julian German from leading Cornwall Council.

They accused him of breaking ethical standards for keeping Adam Paynter as Deputy Leader after he was suspended by the Liberal Democrats.

But the motion to remove Mr German was defeated with 40 votes in favour, 65 against and seven abstentions.

Image caption,
Mr Paynter is now an Independent and has appealed against the decision to suspend him from the Liberal Democrats

Mr Paynter was suspended by the national Liberal Democrats party in March after he shared a confidential email sent to him by a colleague, said the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

The Liberal Democrats found he had brought the party into disrepute and said his actions "caused a good deal of harm, distress, and damage, to a councillor colleague".

Mr Paynter became an Independent and has appealed against the decision, saying he had apologised and had sent the email "in an attempt to help".

Conservative group leader Linda Taylor told the Independent and Liberal Democrat-controlled council that by keeping Mr Paynter on as deputy, Mr German was "making a mockery" of ethical standards for councillors.

Mr German highlighted his "commitment and passion for Cornwall and my dedication and diligence as leader of the council".

Independent Sally Hawken said removing him would be "destabilising" and put "politics before people".

And Dick Cole, leader of Cornish nationalists Mebyon Kernow, said the motion was politically motivated and "a pretty sad day for this authority".

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