David and Elizabeth Parsons suspended from Conservative group

David Parsons
Image caption David Parsons stepped down as county council leader in July

Two married district councillors have been suspended from their party over two separate financial matters.

David Parsons quit as leader of Leicestershire County Council after a travel expenses investigation, and has now been suspended from Blaby District Council's Conservative group.

His wife Elizabeth has been suspended from the same Conservative group over an allegation she failed to declare a financial interest at a meeting.

She said she had not breached the law.

Blaby District Council has passed the matter relating to Mrs Parsons to Leicestershire Police.

A council spokesman said: "It should be made clear that we are not saying there has been a breach of the law, but in the interests of the council and all concerned the matter has been referred to the police.

"The issue will also be referred to the council's Standards Committee."

'Certain irregularities'

The allegation relating to Mrs Parsons concerns a meeting of Blaby District Council on 25 September.

During it there was an item about plans to give seven council-owned garage sites, for free, to the East Midlands Housing Association.

This was for the development of 18 housing units and was approved by the council.

Mr Parsons declared a pecuniary interest in the item and left the meeting while it was considered.

However, Mrs Parsons did not declare a pecuniary interest.

The council's monitoring officer then investigated "certain irregularities relating to declarations of pecuniary interest", a council spokesperson said.

In a statement, Mrs Parsons told the BBC: "I welcome the council's statement that they are not saying there has been a breach of the law concerning agenda item 2 of the council meeting on 25 September 2012.

"I have however made a complaint to the monitoring officer at Blaby District Council concerning comments made by Councillor Ernie White, leader of Blaby District Council, which could be prejudicial to the consideration of this matter."

Mr White declined to comment in relation to Mrs Parsons' statement.

A Leicestershire Police spokesperson confirmed the force has received "a report regarding allegations of financial irregularities".

"This report is being reviewed and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage," he added.

Both still councillors

A council spokesperson said: "Blaby District Council Conservative group has suspended from the group the membership of Councillor Mr David Parsons and Councillor Mrs Elizabeth Parsons.

"These suspensions are of immediate effect and will apply until further notice."

Although they have been suspended from the group, Mr and Mrs Parsons can continue to be district councillors.

Mr Parsons, who is still a county councillor, has been suspended from the district council's Conservative group amid claims that he brought them into disrepute.

The BBC approached Mr Parsons for his response but he has yet to comment on the issue.

He quit as authority leader in July after an investigation found he breached the code of conduct over travel expenses.

Mr Parsons became an independent member of Leicestershire County Council after resigning from the county council's Conservative group last week.

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