Mark Turley resignation ends council probe

Mark Turley. Picture: TSPL
Mark Turley. Picture: TSPL
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Under-fire Mark Turley has resigned from his position as Director of Services for Communities at Edinburgh City Council, in a move which means the local authority will now close its investigation into the Mortonhall scandal.

The council confirmed the move in a statement released this morning.

Mr Turley, was the most senior director at the department governing Mortonhall Crematorium where hundreds of families were denied their babies’ remains after they were secretly buried by staff.

He was suspended in May one week after a 600-page dossier into the scandal was made public following a year-long investigation by former Lord Advocate Dame Elish Angiolini.

It is thought the suspension may have been sparked by the damning report which is understood to have ignited concerns at City Chambers about a pervasive “hands off approach” to the crematorium.

In the council statement, Mr Turley said: “Whilst I do not believe I personally contributed to any wrong doing at Mortonhall Crematorium, as the Director with ultimate accountability I believe it is right that I do the honourable thing in recognition of working practices at Mortonhall as criticised in Dame Elish Angiolini’s recent report. I have therefore asked the Chief Executive to accept my resignation.

“I would like to thank the many partners and colleagues who have supported me through this difficult period and wish them all well for the future.”

Sue Bruce, Chief Executive said: “Mark has made a significant contribution to this Council and to the city over the past 20 years, in particular in relation to the provision of housing. I respect the decision he has taken in these difficult circumstances.

“Following the media coverage of this issue I would like to take this opportunity to make it clear that Mark was placed under precautionary suspension to allow an investigation to take place. This is standard practice in such circumstances. In light of Mark’s decision, that investigation will not now proceed.

“Mark leaves with our best wishes for the future.”