Leader of West Northamptonshire Council responds to calls from opposition councillors for his resignation

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Labour and Lib Dem groups say leader's position is "untenable"

The leader of West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has spoken out after the opposition has called for his resignation following allegations made in a national publication.

The allegations were printed this week after which both Labour and the Liberal Democrats issued statements calling for Councillor Jonathan Nunn to resign, stating that his position was untenable.

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The Independent Party called for an independent inquiry and urged Councillor Nunn to step aside while it was carried out.

West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) leader Councillor Jonathan Nunn.West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) leader Councillor Jonathan Nunn.
West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) leader Councillor Jonathan Nunn.

In response to the calls, Councillor Nunn said: “I have always been open and honest about the fact that 20 years ago I received a conviction for assault and a community order – I have spoken publicly about this before and this has also been a matter of public record for many years, since before I was elected as a borough and now a unitary councillor by members of the public and became council leader.

“Domestic abuse is never acceptable and I regret my past mistakes. This past behaviour is not something I am proud of, and in the many years that have since passed I have worked hard to make up for the past by trying to contribute something positive.

"Central to this has been working hard as a councillor to put as much as I can back into my local community, helping me to see new and fresh perspectives that have helped me to grow as a person."

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Cllr Nunn previously said at a full council meeting on March 21, that there had been a "sustained campaign against him" and denied the allegations being made.

His statement today added: “Due to the relentless and exhausting stream of attacks, I have therefore contacted the police who are actively investigating these issues."

“I am not sure if the Labour party were aware of the full facts behind this sustained campaign against me when making [their] statement but I would welcome a private discussion should [they] wish to do so.”

Following the council meeting last month, Northamptonshire Police confirmed they were investigating Councillor Nunn's complaints.

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The Labour Group said the recent article made Councillor Nunn's "position to be untenable" and they "called for him to resign as leader as soon as possible".

“This ongoing situation has now reached a stage where it is becoming an obstructive distraction to officers, councillors, and the public from the important work the council must undertake every day to improve the lives of our residents.

"The Conservative Group must step up, realise the severity of the situation, and consider whether they can credibly continue to lead the council after this series of events which will seriously impact our reputation as a public authority tasked with protecting residents.”

The Liberal Democrats issued a similar statement calling for Councillor Nunn to resign.w/c:486

The Independent Party said WNC needed to appoint an independent KC to investigate the matter and that Councillor Nunn should step aside while this was being carried out.