Cautiously promising news about Alex Folkes as Cornwall launches inquiry

Cornwall Council logoAt the weekend I blogged about the remarkable attempt by Cornwall Council’s Chief Executive Andrew Kerr to force Alex Folkes to resign as a councillor, apparently for having been the victim of a crime several years ago.

(Alex’s version of events, which Cornwall Council has not contradicted, is that his credit card was cloned several years ago and the stolen card information was then used to access a child pornography site. The police investigated at the time and, being given this defence and evidence of the illegal cloning, didn’t press charges.)

Now Cornwall Council has decided to launch an inquiry. As Alex writes on his blog:

Radio Cornwall has carried the news that Cornwall Council is to commission an independent inquiry into the handling of false claims made about me. I cautiously welcome this acceptance by the council that there are significant question marks over the process they have followed.

The inquiry will be able to review the process by which decisions were taken behind closed doors and judgments reached without my having the chance to read and respond to the allegations against me. Indeed, I have still only received a list of claims and no actual evidence from the council that could lead them to reach the conclusions they have.

I am told the inquiry will also look into the decision to make accusations against me in letters to local schools and sports clubs, and the decision by the council to press release this. I hope that it will also cover data protection issues.

I fully expect to be given the chance to have my say to this inquiry and look forward to doing so. I thank the many hundreds of people who have been in touch with me to offer their support and good wishes.

I will not be making any further comments.

If properly conducted, this inquiry is good news indeed.