Prime Minister David Cameron asked to suspend Councillor Mike Fisher from Croydon Conservative leadership over 18 per cent secret pay rise

Steve Reed's letter to Prime Minister David Cameron

UPDATE: David Cameron asked to suspend Tory council leader over 18 per cent secret pay rise

First published in News
Last updated
Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

The Prime Minister is being asked to suspend Croydon Conservative leader Mike Fisher over his secret 18 per cent rise.

Croydon North's Labour MP Steve Reed has written to David Cameron after it emerged Cllr Fisher increased his allowance during the last financial year when he was council leader from £53,000 to £62,352.

The councillor did this after privately telling council officers he would like to be paid more of the allowance he was eligible for.

In the letter to Mr Cameron, Coun Reed writes: “He has accepted a £10,000 increase in his council allowances . . . by demanding ‘back pay’ for increases in allowances that were recommended but not taken up by councillors between 2010 and 2014.

“Cllr Fisher’s behaviour appears to breach the Nolan Principles for Conduct in Public Life, and it is questionable whether it also breaches the legal requirements for the public declaration of payments to councillors.

“I have further concerns that the scheme of allowances agreed by the council in 2010 was deliberately phrased to persuade the public that councillors were not accepting increased allowances while giving themselves leeway to subsequently take increases without declaring them.

“Even if this was not illegal, it certainly appears to be an attempt to deceive the public.”

And in the letter the Labour MP asks the Prime Minister to support his request for the council to set up an independently chaired inquiry and to suspend Mr Fisher as Conservative group leader until the full facts have been established.

Croydon Central Conservative MP Gavin Barwell has said he is "angry and let down' by the news of the rise for his friend and party colleague but stopped short of calling for a suspension.

Mr Reed wants an inquiry to consider eight questions:

  1. How was the former leader of the council able to claim £10,000 additional allowances without declaring it publicly at the time, given the legal requirement for public declaration?
     
  2. Was political pressure put on council officers to ensure their compliance with the arrangements, and if so by whom?
     
  3. Who else knew that this payment was being made, and was there collusion to prevent the public from finding out?
     
  4. Was the phrasing used in the Review of the Scheme of Members’ Allowances 2010 deliberately intended to allow councillors to take additional allowances in secret after making public declarations implying they would not? 
     
  5. Have any councillors other than the former leader of the council benefited from similar arrangements or attempted to benefit from them, and if so who?
     
  6. Have there been any other actual or attempted claims for additional payments by councillors, either as increased allowances, back payments of allowances, or loans, and if so by whom?
     
  7. Did the council’s arrangements in this case breach the Nolan Principles on standards in public life, in particular the requirement for openness and transparency?
     
  8. Did the council’s arrangements break the legal requirements governing payment and public declaration of payment to councillors and conduct in public life?  

    Click here to read the letter in full

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:05pm Thu 4 Sep 14

ANNE GILES says...

Does any of this really matter? Journalists are having their heads chopped off in Iraq and Labour want Mike Fisher suspended? Get real!
Does any of this really matter? Journalists are having their heads chopped off in Iraq and Labour want Mike Fisher suspended? Get real! ANNE GILES
  • Score: -20

9:47am Fri 5 Sep 14

Googol says...

Yes, it does matter, Anne. We have a right to expect honesty from our elected representatives. It is residents' money they are spending. Croydon used to be a great borough to live in but some of the councillors forget who elected them. Actions like this and selling off the Riesco pottery are shameful.
Yes, it does matter, Anne. We have a right to expect honesty from our elected representatives. It is residents' money they are spending. Croydon used to be a great borough to live in but some of the councillors forget who elected them. Actions like this and selling off the Riesco pottery are shameful. Googol
  • Score: 12

2:43pm Fri 5 Sep 14

ANNE GILES says...

Nobody was that interested in the Riesco pottery anyway.
Nobody was that interested in the Riesco pottery anyway. ANNE GILES
  • Score: -9

10:00am Sat 6 Sep 14

Stuart Parr says...

Judging by the -14 score on your comment Anne I'd say yes, it does matter. If he and/or officers have broken the law then justice needs to be done. They're in a position of trust spending taxpayers' money.
Judging by the -14 score on your comment Anne I'd say yes, it does matter. If he and/or officers have broken the law then justice needs to be done. They're in a position of trust spending taxpayers' money. Stuart Parr
  • Score: 7

10:32am Sat 6 Sep 14

ANNE MILES says...

No wonder the public are turning to UKIP ! these politicians from the main three, are in politics for self gain, and not the good of the country or its people.
No wonder the public are turning to UKIP ! these politicians from the main three, are in politics for self gain, and not the good of the country or its people. ANNE MILES
  • Score: 3

12:15pm Sat 6 Sep 14

Anon Thornton Heath says...

If Councillor Mike Fisher is entitled to the allowance, I don't have a problem with this, but I do have a problem with the sneaky underhand way in which he's claimed it. If he is capable of doing that, then surely he's not trustworthy and he is more likely to look at other ways of getting his snout in the trough! We've had enough with MP expenses scandals to know politicians have to be transparent. I say SACK HIM NOW.

He needs to remember that this is OUR MONEY he's spending!!!
If Councillor Mike Fisher is entitled to the allowance, I don't have a problem with this, but I do have a problem with the sneaky underhand way in which he's claimed it. If he is capable of doing that, then surely he's not trustworthy and he is more likely to look at other ways of getting his snout in the trough! We've had enough with MP expenses scandals to know politicians have to be transparent. I say SACK HIM NOW. He needs to remember that this is OUR MONEY he's spending!!! Anon Thornton Heath
  • Score: 4

9:57pm Wed 10 Sep 14

JaySE19 says...

ANNE GILES wrote:
Does any of this really matter? Journalists are having their heads chopped off in Iraq and Labour want Mike Fisher suspended? Get real!
Your blatant ignorance towards anything Anne has amazed me these past few days. You are obviously going to defend Fisher and the Conservatives to the death, regardless of what 'back handed' deals they have undertaken at the expense of Tax Payers money. I'm sure had this been a Labour councillor, you'd be calling for their neck on the line.

The £10.000.00 pay rise is the tip of the iceberg. There's already the fire brigade finances Mr Fisher was taking as well. I am sure once this enquiry gets under way, we'll be hearing of more'extra curricular' payments coming to light.
All this when the rest of us, in particular the north of the borough, have suffered cuts to services and the like. Even council workers were given an insulting 1% pay rise, while fat tory fisher rakes it in. I'm sure his family are not visiting food banks twice a week to feed his kids.
All this under cameron's 'big society'. The society that steals from the public purse to keep the wealthy in the lifestyle they've become accustomed to, while ordinary people struggle to pay their bills, keep a roof over their heads and feed their families.
People like you deserve nothing but contempt from the people of croydon. Crawl under a rock or something please!!!!!
[quote][p][bold]ANNE GILES[/bold] wrote: Does any of this really matter? Journalists are having their heads chopped off in Iraq and Labour want Mike Fisher suspended? Get real![/p][/quote]Your blatant ignorance towards anything Anne has amazed me these past few days. You are obviously going to defend Fisher and the Conservatives to the death, regardless of what 'back handed' deals they have undertaken at the expense of Tax Payers money. I'm sure had this been a Labour councillor, you'd be calling for their neck on the line. The £10.000.00 pay rise is the tip of the iceberg. There's already the fire brigade finances Mr Fisher was taking as well. I am sure once this enquiry gets under way, we'll be hearing of more'extra curricular' payments coming to light. All this when the rest of us, in particular the north of the borough, have suffered cuts to services and the like. Even council workers were given an insulting 1% pay rise, while fat tory fisher rakes it in. I'm sure his family are not visiting food banks twice a week to feed his kids. All this under cameron's 'big society'. The society that steals from the public purse to keep the wealthy in the lifestyle they've become accustomed to, while ordinary people struggle to pay their bills, keep a roof over their heads and feed their families. People like you deserve nothing but contempt from the people of croydon. Crawl under a rock or something please!!!!! JaySE19
  • Score: 3
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree