Party suspension for councillor

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A COUNCILLOR convicted of drink-driving has now been suspended from his party.

John Scott, who represents the Shiney Row ward on Sunderland Council, was banned from driving for 12 months and fined £290 by city magistrates latter he was arrested on April 19.

The 66-year-old, of Office Row, New Herrington, had 53 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 milliletres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

He then appeared in front of the Sunderland Labour Group whip, and had been give a two-month suspension from the Labour Group as a result of his conviction.

He is now not allowed to be part of the Labour Group for the period of the suspension, meaning he cannot attend Labour Group meetings or take part in forming group decisions.

A spokesman said: “The Labour Party and Sunderland Labour Group take the issue of drink-driving very seriously.

“Councillor John Scott’s conduct has fallen below the standards expected of a Labour Councillor.

“Coun Scott has been interviewed by the Sunderland Group Whip and has subsequently been suspended from Sunderland Labour Group for a period of two months.”

The Labour Group was only made aware of the court appearance and conviction after the Echo contacted Coun Scott about it.

The married dad-of-three has represented Shiney Row on Sunderland City Council since 2004.

A former miner and grandfather-of-six, Coun Scott was re-elected in May, with one of the highest percentages in Tyne and Wear.

Coun Scott declined to comment on his suspension when contacted by the Echo.

He has previously said he was “devastated” by the court conviction, adding: “I want to apologise to everybody for my wrongdoing.

“I’m so disappointed because I’ve never been in trouble in my life.”

Twitter: @davidallison88