Councillor David Smith to face child sex offence charges
A Teesside councillor has been charged with a string of sex offences.
David Smith, who represents Coulby Newham on Middlesbrough Council, faces nine counts of sexual touching of a child.
The 30-year-old, who has resigned from the Conservative party but remains a councillor, denies what he called the "spurious allegations".
Mr Smith, who was elected in May, is due to appear at Teesside Magistrates' Court on 7 August.
In a statement, Mr Smith said he was resigning from the Tory party and Middlesbrough Council Conservative Group "with immediate effect", the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.
"I completely reject these spurious allegations and removing myself from the party will ensure I can focus all my efforts on fighting to clear my name," he added.
Following his election, he petitioned Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston to trial gender-neutral toilets at Middlesbrough Council.
Last month he apologised for comments he made to the Middlesbrough FC fan page Fly Me To The Moon in which he referred to people on benefits as "rotten pond life families that should be sterilised and washed".