Hackney Council announces independent investigation into its handling of events surrounding Tom Dewey’s resignation

Tom Dewey at the election count in May 2022. Photograph: Julia Gregory

Hackney Council has announced an independent investigation into its handling of “events surrounding” the resignation of former Labour councillor Tom Dewey last year.

Dewey was given a suspended sentence last month after admitting five charges of possessing indecent images of children.

He quit as a councillor in May 2022, just 10 days after being elected to represent De Beauvoir.

Philip Glanville recently resigned as Hackney’s mayor after he was photographed with Dewey hours after he had been informed of his arrest.

The photo contradicted Glanville’s previous version of events, and he was suspended by the Labour Party before stepping down as mayor.

Announcing the review at a full council meeting last night, Deputy Mayor Anntoinette Bramble said: “I am determined that we learn from what has happened.”

Hackney Greens had already proposed a motion calling for an independent inquiry.

Their motion included a call for the council to write to the chair of Hackney Labour Party to ask them “to hold an independent investigation into who knew what, when and what actions they took following the raid on Dewey’s home”.

Two Labour motions were discussed first at last night’s meeting – one on making Hackney a fertility-friendly borough, and another declaring mental health a human right for all.

The council allots 30 minutes for debating motions and operates a “cab rank” system, with motions debated in the order in which they were submitted.

Green councillor Alastair Binnie-Lubbock asked if the second motion could be put to a vote as there was clearly agreement, but he was told more people wanted to speak on it.

Green leader Zoë Garbett said: “It’s a shame that they did not take the chance to speak to the motion and residents’ concerns.”

She said people have raised safeguarding concerns after learning of the Dewey scandal.

Deputy Mayor Bramble said the independent review will examine decisions taken by the council in response to Dewey’s arrest.

“The review will be independent of politicians, political parties, and it will be someone who isn’t affiliated to the council to ensure that it will be impartial,” she added.

Garbett said: “We welcome the independent review that the council has committed to. We have been calling for this since 3 July.

“We have been asking for more understanding about what the elected members and officers did with the information of Tom Dewey’s arrest.”

The council today announced a date of 9 November for the mayoral by-election triggered by Philip Glanville’s resignation.