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Porn shock Dudley councillor quits Tory group after more revelations
11:05am Tuesday 24th September 2013 in News
PORN scandal former mayor cllr Ray Burston has resigned from the Conservative group on Dudley Council after more shock revelations.
Cllr Burston stunned colleagues in July when he stood down as Tory spokesman for the environment after admitting using his council computer to download adult content from the internet.
However he has now resigned as a Conservative councillor and announced he will not stand for re-election in his Hayley Green and Cradley South ward after it emerged he was warned for doing the same thing a decade ago.
Cllr Burston, who was Dudley's mayor in 2008/09, said: "I shall remain at the service of my electors.
"I can only reaffirm to them my deep remorse, and to take this opportunity to thank them for the support they have given me during my twenty-one years as their local councillor.
"I would also like to pay tribute to all those people I have worked with as an elected member during that time – including dedicated fellow councillors from both sides of the Council chamber; the authority’s outstanding and immensely professional team of officers and staff; and all those many thousands of ordinary citizens who have selflessly offered up their time and energy to the Borough by way of its voluntary, charitable and faith organisations."
Cllr Burston revealed his previous porn warning, from former Conservative group leader cllr David Caunt, at a council standards committee hearing last week.
His seat is up for re-election in 2014, he will continue as a councillor until then but has already asked for his member's allowances to be paid to the mayor's charities as an act of "contrition".
Dudley's Conservative leader, cllr Patrick Harley, said: "It is a sad end to a good political career. I am pleased he has resigned.
"This was clearly an absolute lack of judgement on his part. I offered him my full support initially but then to find out that it is a repeat offence from ten years before - we would have had to go through the disciplinary routes.
"I am glad he has taken the honourable route, it is the right decision."
The affair is a further blow to Dudley's Conservatives who earlier this year lost two of their big hitters following the resignation of cllrs Les Jones and Karen Shakespeare after bitter political rows within the group.
Cllr David Caunt said: "It is now ten years since it all happened. It was dealt with in total confidence, no-one outside those involved knew. The group didn't know about it.
"In those days it was not against the council's standards, now it is - which is why it has been handled differently this time."
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