Greens’ motion calling for Dewey independent inquiry may not get debated

Tom Dewey

Tom Dewey

Calls for an independent inquiry into the actions taken by the council and Labour party after a councillor was arrested for possession of indecent images of children are unlikely to be discussed by councillors.

The Greens, who are the second opposition group on the council, tabled a motion demanding an investigation into the Tom Dewey scandal.

They hoped it would be discussed at the full council meeting on Wednesday (27 September 2023).

However, the council operates a “cab rank” system for motions and two Labour motions had already been filed before the Greens submitted theirs.

The Greens want the council to commission a look into “who knew what and when about Mr Dewey’s arrest and what actions they took, both within the Labour Party and within the council.”

Their motion also urges the council to ask Hackney Labour party to also look into actions taken by their officials following the arrest in April 2022, days before the local elections.

Green councillor Alastair Binnie-Lubbock said: “We’re hoping that the Labour whip will get the Labour group to agree to this motion becoming the second one to be heard as we think it’s important to restore public trust and remove all suspicion of anyone trying to do a cover up as soon as possible following recent events and the Mayor’s resignation.

“Currently I believe it would be the third motion to be heard, and we usually only get through one or two motions, have only got through three motions during the allotted 30 minutes once in the last year.”

The Labour party and council said they first learnt about the NCA’s investigation after the National Crime Agency contacted the council on May 13 2022, a week after Tom Dewey became a De Beauvoir ward councillor.

The council’s chief executive told senior Labour officials on 16 May and Tom Dewey resigned as a councillor and from the Labour party.

The 36-year-old, who now lives in Hampshire, was given a 12-month suspended sentence this August after admitting five charges of possessing indecent images of children.

The scandal saw the Mayor Philip Glanville resign his job after seven years, as he had joined Tom Dewey at a party on the day he learned of the arrest. He had previously said he had not seen the new De Beauvoir councillor since the council’s chief executive called to tell him what had happened.

The Greens had initially tabled a motion of no confidence in the Mayor and amended it after his resignation.