The Mayor of Camden, Cllr Omar Faruque Ansari, has been questioned at a police station by investigators from the Department of Work and Pensions. The Lib Dems have suspended him as a councillor although he has not so far resigned as Mayor.
Cllr Andrew Marshall, leader of the Conservative Group who are minority coalition partners with the Lib Dems on the Council, says:
"These are serious allegations and it would not be right to comment further given the ongoing investigation. In this country everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Benefit fraud is pernicious crime and all of us in public office have a duty to maintain the highest standards of probity."
Cllr Marshall is right to resist lynchmob instincts. But even if Cllr Ansari is innocent would it not be in the interests of the Borough for him to stand down as Mayor until his name is cleared?
The people of Kentish Town may well feel dismayed by the conduct of their Lib Dem elected representatives. A previous ward councillor eventually stood down after going off to Arizona and still pocketing £700 a month Council allowances.