UKIP in Croydon, having unloaded the constant embarrassment that is Winston McKenzie, could be about to encounter a different kind of squirm-making, after selecting Peter Staveley as their London Assembly candidate for Croydon and Sutton.
Staveley was selected last month. In common with an election campaign last year that was so low-profile as to be subterranean, when he did very little active canvassing against Gavin Barwell when supposedly “running” in the General Election in Croydon Central, Staveley has yet even to issue a press release to announce his selection.
There may be a reason for this, though.
After a series of polite requests, written demands and lawyers’ letters, Croydon Council has begun recovery action for the return of unspent grant funds from the Croydon Communities [sic] Consortium. That could affect Staveley, who was the CCC vice-chair for a year, including some of the period when he was a UKIP election candidate.
Other officers of CCC who may be subject to recovery action through the courts include Sanderstead resident Elizabeth Ash, the self-appointed “Croydon libraries campaign”, Janet Stollery, a former UKIP member and now chair of a Coulsdon residents’ association, and Mark Johnson, a failed Tory local election candidate.
CCC had previously attracted controversy when Staveley’s predecessor as its vice-chair, Clive Locke, issued a series of racist and Islamophobic messages and images on social media. CCC never took any action against Locke for his conduct, preferring to pretend it never happened. Locke remains a stalwart attender of CCC’s events.
A senior figure at the council told Inside Croydon of the recovery action: “The legal process is progressing, so I can’t really say much more, but as a matter of principle we will do everything we can to collect any money owing.”
Having such recovery action – for a couple of thousand pounds, plus all the council’s legal costs – hanging over him while ostensibly “running” a UKIP election campaign might be bad enough for Davidson Road resident Staveley.
To make matters worse, UKIP’s Croydon Central and Croydon South branch recently appointed Staveley as their… treasurer.
Croydon’s Kippers might soon be wishing they had Winston back…
Staveley did not respond to Inside Croydon‘s request for a comment.
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