Rainham and Wennington councillor, Jeff Tucker, cleared of misconduct allegation

A Havering councillor has been cleared of breaching the town hall’s code of conduct but he has been asked to attend a meeting with the union that complained about him.

In August the council received a complaint from public sector union Unison over comments Cllr Jeff Tucker (Independent Residents’ Group, Rainham and Wennington) made regarding Filipino workers.

Cllr Tucker says he has been unfairly targeted for a complaint and is seeking an apology from both the union and the council.

Terms

At a cabinet meeting in July, discussing plans to outsource reablement services, Cllr Tucker said: “I was going to ask how can the company winning the bid provide the service cheaper than the council? I think I know, it would be because they had their own team.

“A lot of Asian, and Philippines, workers; I think that they work for a little bit cheaper. I’m not sure that’s the right way to say it.”

Cllr Steven Kelly (Conservative, Emerson Park) told Cllr Tucker that contracted workers were on the same terms as the previous in-house team.

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At a private meeting of the council’s adjudication and review committee in October, Cllr Tucker was cleared of breaching the members’ code of conduct over the comments.

One month later, a council officer wrote to Cllr Tucker telling him the decision, but adding that the committee “had concerns about your use of language” and asked him to arrange meetings with both Unison and council officers.

Cllr Tucker said that the reaction against him is biased and the process has been unfairly drawn out.

He said: “I’ve been a union man my whole life and I don’t know why they’ve targeted me with this complaint.

“This has been going on for months. It gets inside your head and you worry about it all the time.

“I’m asking them to apologise for putting me through this for no reason at all.

“Of course, I have nothing against Asian people, my wife is Asian, and all this has been very upsetting for my family.”

A spokesman for Havering Council said they do not comment on issues regarding its standards board.

Unison did not comment before the Recorder went to press.

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