Letter: Civic 'fraud' in Hackney

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your report on Bernard Crofton ("Housing chief is fraud and liar says report", 1 May) raises more questions than it answers.

If Bernard Crofton was, or is, guilty of fraud, at what point was Hackney council (leading Labour councillors and senior officers) aware of this? If it was prior to his suspension in October 1994, why was he not also charged with fraud and the evidence presented to the disciplinary sub- committee last year?

Your report refers to the "Blue Document" which, after interviewing Andrew Arden QC, Ian MacDonald QC is reported to dismiss as "untrue and fabricated". In view of the importance of that document in the appeal hearing, why was Andrew Arden QC either unable or unwilling to give evidence to the appeal panel?

You refer to the names of 600 employees being secretly passed to the Immigration Department for checking. Whilst there is no denying that names were passed to the Immigration Department, the only person to have publicly linked this with Bernard Crofton was Brian Sedgemore MP, who hid behind parliamentary privilege to do so. I am still waiting to see him make this allegation without the use of parliamentary privilege.

I cannot comment on the MacDonald report as I have not yet received a copy but if I, or indeed any Hackney councillor, is going to take it seriously, it will need to provide full documentation to back up the allegation that Bernard Crofton is a "fraud and liar".

Cllr Kevin Daws

Leader of the Opposition,

London Borough of Hackney

London EC1