A city councillor has been expelled from the Conservative Party after making offensive remarks about rape at a meeting.
Eddie Wake, 56, a Tory councillor at Sunderland City Council, is alleged to have made the remarks at a meeting of the authority and left one woman in tears.
Conservative party chiefs said comments by Washington South member Mr Wake, at the end of a meeting with police about a rape prevention campaign, were “totally unacceptable”…
Group leader Lee Martin told the BBC: “When I ask anyone to go out and vote for a Conservative candidate, I’ve got a minimum expectation, should that person be elected, of how they conduct themselves.
“Eddie Wake has come in well below that standard and as a result is no longer a Conservative councillor.”
The council’s standards committee is investigating Cllr Wake’s remark.
The Conservative Party looks to have responded sensibly and promptly. Whilst there’s no suggestion that the remarks should be illegal, it’s right for parties to hold their candidates to a higher standard than simply “it’s legal”.
But when you’ve got the party’s with their own standards, the public’s ability to judge those standards and their enforcement through the ballot box and the law to deal with extreme cases, does it really need a standards committee looking at the matter too?
A body to look at and enforce breaches of rules such as the declaration of donations and the claiming of expenses is certainly required. A body judging personal behaviour beyond what the law, the parties and the electorate can do anyway? I’m not so sure.