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Ham&High not to publish allegations after councillor resigns

PUBLISHED: 22:11 17 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:56 07 September 2010

THE Ham&High has decided not to publish allegations that have led to the resignation of a Liberal Democrat councillor. Cllr Chris Basson resigned suddenly on Monday, releasing his resignation statement to the Ham&High after being made aware by his party

THE Ham&High has decided not to publish allegations that have led to the resignation of a Liberal Democrat councillor.

Cllr Chris Basson resigned suddenly on Monday, releasing his resignation statement to the Ham&High after being made aware by his party of our investigation into allegations about aspects of his private life.

In his statement, Cllr Basson made the extraordinary revelation that he had already been diagnosed as a manic depressive years before he stood for election, and that since becoming a councillor in 2006 he had suffered from a series of relapses including nervous breakdowns which required hospital treatment.

He said that 'fighting allegations' would be too much for him and he had decided instead to 'bring forward' the announcement of his resignation.

Before approaching Cllr Basson, the Ham&High had made the Liberal Democrat leadership aware of the allegations, which were unrelated to his medical condition.

''We were aware that Cllr Basson had health issues and were sensitive to that, even approaching the party rather than the councillor in the first instance because of the sensitivities involved. But I don't think that anyone outside the Lib Dems in the political arena was aware just how serious those problems had become until the councillor volunteered that information in his statement,'' said Ham&High editor Geoff Martin.

''I was astonished to learn that he had still been serving as a councillor while so obviously in no fit state to continue. Even the change in his physical condition was shocking.''

''He has now resigned his position as a councillor - something which clearly should have happened long before now - and it would serve no useful purpose to continue our investigation or to publish any evidence relating to it at this stage.''


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