A Merton Labour councillor has been denounced by his own Labour Group leader for drawing an annual £8,500 a year attendance allowance while living in Neath. Cllr Leighton Veale stood as a Labour candidate in Wales in the Euro Elections but was not elected.
He has justified remaining a councillor by saying a byelection would have caused the closure of local schools for the election. (Why do we use schools as Polling Stations so much? Very disruptive. Surely we could use churches and other buildings more instead.)
The good news for Cllr Veale is that he could stop claiming his allowance while still remaining a councillor following the example of Cllr Ashley Fox MEP in Bristol. This would avoid the need for a byelection. Over to you, Cllr Veale.