No punishment for Bournemouth porn inquiry councillor

Image caption,
Stephen MacLoughlin stepped down as council leader last month

The former leader of Bournemouth council will face no further action after it was discovered pornography had been accessed on his work laptop.

The images were found on Councillor Stephen MacLoughlin's computer after a routine IT service in December 2008.

He faced a public hearing earlier where a panel ruled he was not acting in an official capacity when the incident was alleged to have occurred.

The panel will present its full findings next week.

Roy Wardle, chairman of the committee, said: "Whilst the committee does not condone the use that Councillor MacLoughlin made of his laptop, our conclusion is that [he] was not conducting the business of the council at the time and therefore a breach of the code did not arise."

'Draw a line'

A previous council inquiry also ruled that no further action would be taken.

The council said the material accessed on Mr MacLoughlin's laptop contravened its internet policy but he had co-operated with the internal inquiry and agreed to comply with the council's internet policy in future.

The decision prompted accusations of double standards, after employees were placed on leave in March 2009 for sending an explicit "joke" e-mail about Viagra.

At the time, the council said the procedure for dealing with a council member was different to that for a staff member.

Mr MacLoughlin stood down as leader last month.

He said he took the decision to "draw a line" under recent events.

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