My Statement on the Standards Committee hearing against former Council leader Iain Malcolm

March 26, 2024

Tomorrow (Wednesday 20th March), South Tyneside Council’s Standards Committee will consider complaints made against Iain Malcolm (the former council leader) by Senior Officers. Some of the complaints include that his conduct created a toxic and intolerable working environment; that he pressurised officers to bend to his demands; that he was aggressive and oppressive towards them.

Despite this complaint having nothing whatsoever to do with me, my office, or my family, Mr Malcolm has chosen to drag my name into the affair. He is attempting to deflect attention from his own appalling behaviour, which is yet another example of his continued vexatious harassment towards me.

The Council, without my knowledge, have chosen to put his unfounded and defamatory remarks about me into the public domain. The Council have also refused me any right of reply at tomorrow’s meeting.

Mr Malcolm claims that my reference to the complaint raised by Senior Officers on social media made his position as a Councillor untenable. This is not true. Others had already publicised it. I was asked for my views, and shared them transparently and openly, as I always do.

Mr Malcolm claims that there was no evidence of bullying in South Shields Labour Party. This is not true. South Shields Labour Party was suspended in 2016 for bullying.

Mr Malcolm claims that the Local Government Ombudsman found my ex-husband to be an elder abuser. This is not true. The Ombudsman found fault with the Council and an independent social worker reported that no abuse occurred.

These untruths are the latest examples of Mr Malcolm’s hostile campaign against me and my family, which started as soon as I was elected as the first female MP for South Shields in 2013. The distress this has caused me, my wider family and my office has been intolerable.

Last week, it was confirmed he had misused public funds. This week an independent report has concluded that he is a bully. It is his own abhorrent behaviour that has made his position as a council member untenable.

Emma Lewell-Buck MP

Member of Parliament for South Shields

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