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Embattled council environment head refuses to quit

The senior local government representative for the environment has resisted calls to resign after an investigation into his travel expenses.

David Parsons, above centre, remains leader of Leicestershire County Council’s ruling Conservatives after a group meeting on Monday. He is also head of the Local Government Association’s environment and housing board.

As reported by our sister title Local Government Chronicle, a recent whistleblowing investigation found there was “a significant reputational risk” in the way Cllr Parsons failed to promptly reimburse East Midlands Councils for the cost of plane and train tickets to Brussels.

Further allegations have since come to light, including incorrect declarations in the council’s register of interests, leading Liberal Democrats to describe his position as untenable and call on him to quit.

A spokesman for Cllr Parsons he “strenuously denied” any allegations of impropriety, financial gain or wrong doing and had no intention of resigning.

He added: “David will fully co-operate with any and all investigations into this matter and will welcome the opportunity to give his side of the story, which he feels have been unfair and one sided thus far.

“He has secured the backing of his colleagues and will be concentrating his efforts on developing winning policies for the county elections”.

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