Stafford Borough Council leader Mike Heenan asked to resign

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The leader of Stafford Borough Council faces calls to resign after not officially declaring his involvement with three businesses.

Conservative Mike Heenan apologised to the council last month after failing to disclose he was a company secretary for the firms.

Five councillors have tabled a motion for him to be removed from office. It will be debated at a meeting in April.

Mr Heenan said the issue was "now a matter for the council to discuss".

He said: "It's all been said already, I fully apologised to the council at the time.

Mr Heenan made a full apology to the council in February after a report on BBC Radio Stoke revealed he had not declared his interest in three companies at the Beacon Business Park.

At the time he told me there was no impropriety on his part, and he rectified the mistake immediately after it was brought to his attention.

All councillors will get to vote on his position at the meeting in April and unless there is some surprise rebellion by the Conservative group it is very unlikely Mr Heenan will be removed.

His group will see this as the opposition making political capital over something he has described as an honest mistake.

"I will state again that I've never been involved in a meeting where I haven't declared an interest when I had to."

'Caught out'

Council rules mean councillors must publicly declare all companies they work for or own a part of and any employment or vocation carried on for profit or gain.

Labour councillor Rowan Draper is one of the three Labour and two independents who have tabled the motion that will be discussed on 10 April.

He said: "Our concern is what was the catalyst that led to the leader declaring his interest?

"If he is only declaring it because he was caught out by the BBC you have to ask whether we'd have found out otherwise."

Mr Heenan's updated public register of interests shows he holds 10 "employment roles" and posts at some charities.

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