Greenwich Council leader Danny Thorpe cried last night as he addressed colleagues about suspended councillor Tonia Ashikodi, who has been charged with fraud and perverting the course of justice.
Thorpe nearly broke down as he updated last night’s full council meeting on what has happened to Ashikodi, who will appear in court on 6 August to answer the charges, which follow an investigation into her council tenancy and the ownership of a number of properties.
The Glyndon ward councillor, an ally of the council leader, has been suspended from the Greenwich Council Labour group by the national party.
Ashkodi has also been suspended from her £4,000/year directorship of council services company GS Plus, a role she was appointed to by Thorpe.
“I am assured that our officers have carried out their investigations in a professional and diligent manner,” Thorpe told councillors.
“As a consequence of the charges, Tonia Ashikodi was administratively suspended as a member of the Labour group yesterday evening by the national party, pending the outcome of the judicial process.”
Asked by Conservative leader Matt Hartley about the status of her outside appointments, Thorpe said that her appointments that were decided by the Labour group would be suspended, while those decided by full council would continue.
So while Ashikodi is suspended from her post at GS Plus, she remains as a trustee of Woolwich & District YMCA and the Woolwich & Plumstead Relief in Sickness Fund.
Hartley added: “Everybody is innocent until proven guilty and any questions that this matter raises must wait until the judicial process has taken place.
“I’m sure he’ll join me in hoping that all parties, including residents, exercise extreme care in anything they say on this matter, particularly on social media, as we must not prejudice the court case.” (Watch here.)
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