Midlothian SNP councillor reports former colleague to police

Kelly Parry has reported Cllr De Vink to police. Picture; Gordon Fraser
Kelly Parry has reported Cllr De Vink to police. Picture; Gordon Fraser
0
Have your say

A SENIOR SNP councillor in Midlothian has reported former independent colleague Peter de Vink to the police over comments he made in an “End of Term Report” delivered to voters.

Kelly Parry, who represents Midlothian West and sits on the council’s cabinet, said she had also referred Cllr de Vink to Midlothian’s returning officer and the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life.

In the leaflet, Cllr de Vink – who was in coalition with the SNP on the council for four and a half years – suggested Cllr Parry could be getting paid up to £90,000 a year for three different jobs.

He wrote: “Councillor Parry today holds down three SNP related jobs and gets paid, by my calculation, £21,000 from Midlothian, £43,000 from Westminster, £30,000(?) for being [Midlothian MP Owen Thompson’s]chief of staff, all with eye-watering expenses.”

The leaflet also includes a photograph of Cllr Parry with the words “£90,000 PA?”

Cllr Parry hit out at Cllr de Vink – who is standing down from the council at the elections on May 4 – and quoted the wording of the Representation of the People Act 1983 that it is a criminal offence to “make or publish a false statement of fact about the personal character or conduct of an election candidate”.

She said: “Cllr de Vink recently published his End of Term Report and paid thousands of pounds for this to be delivered to every household in Midlothian.

“Whilst debate on policy from political opponents is to be expected, this publication was an inappropriate personal attack and factually misleading.

“It is deeply unfortunate that Cllr de Vink appears to feel the need to try to influence the local elections in Midlothian in this way and as a result of discussions with my lawyer, my election agent has reported this matter to the returning officer for Midlothian and to Police Scotland.

“I have also reported Cllr de Vink to the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.”

Mr Thompson, who is acting as Cllr Parry’s election agent, said the £90,000 for three jobs claim could be “easily checked” and was “completely false”.

Cllr de Vink insisted he was “extraordinarily careful” about what he put in leaflets.

And he said it was “fine” he had been reported to the police by Cllr Parry and Mr Thompson.

He said: “They are making a fool of themselves. They would have been so much smarter to have ignored me. Now they will give my End of Term Report far more oxygen.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the police.”

ian.swanson@edinburghnews.com