Porn DVD councillor steps down as Leicestershire deputy leader

David Sprason
Image caption David Sprason has stepped aside while an investigation is carried out

The deputy leader of Leicestershire County Council has stepped down after it emerged he watched pornography on a work computer.

David Sprason was caught in 2007 with the DVD in his council owned laptop, according to a letter from a monitoring officer, which was leaked this week.

Council leader Nick Rushton said it should have been dealt with at the time by his predecessor David Parsons.

Mr Sprason has stepped aside while an investigation is carried out.

Leicestershire Police have confirmed that no crime was committed.

The letter by the then monitoring officer was sent to Mr Sprason and Mr Parsons on 1 August 2007.

It referred to his work laptop which was due to be updated at County Hall but was found with the pornographic DVD in the disc drive.

He was warned it broke the council's computer policy but because the film was for private use the matter went no further.

'Honourable thing'

Mr Rushton said: "David Sprason is probably one of the leading members in the country for adults and social care and he has done the honourable thing, immediately to step aside so the investigation can be carried out."

But he also expressed surprise it was not dealt with five years ago, in a statement released on the Conservative group's website.

"I find it particularly disappointing that my predecessor as leader didn't deal with this matter properly through the group rules at the time," he said.

Mr Parsons resigned as council leader in July after an investigation found he breached the code of conduct over travel expenses and has since been expelled from the Tory group.

He has declined to comment.

The Tory group's chief whip is now leading an investigation and is expected to report back on Christmas Eve, and Mr Sprason's fate will be decided on 2 January.

Dave Houseman has taken over the adults and communities brief while Byron Rhodes has stepped into the deputy leader role.

The BBC has contacted Mr Sprason, who said it would be inappropriate to comment while an investigation was ongoing.

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