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Lib Dem councillor resigns amid health fears and allegations

PUBLISHED: 19:00 16 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:56 07 September 2010

EXCLUSIVE Belsize councillor Christopher Basson has stepped down from his Camden Council seat tonight over allegations surrounding his private life and ongoing health problems. The former Lib Dem councillor announced his resignation on Monday a day after

EXCLUSIVE

Belsize councillor Christopher Basson has stepped down from his Camden Council seat tonight over allegations surrounding his private life and ongoing health problems.

The former Lib Dem councillor announced his resignation on Monday a day after becoming aware of a Ham&High investigation into his behaviour.

The Ham&High's inquiries were not related to Cllr Basson's mental health problems.

Cllr Basson, who has rarely been seen in Town Hall meetings in recent months, revealed he has also been suffering from manic depression for 12 years - another factor in his decision to quit.

He said: "In the light of allegations that were brought to my attention this weekend I have brought forward this announcement. I feel that fighting these, in addition to coping with my condition and caring for my elderly mother is too much for me at present."

Cllr Basson claims to have made his decision last week but when the Ham&High visited him on Thursday he made no suggestion of any plan to resign and instead stressed the fact he was still a councillor.

After being told of the Ham&High's investigation Mr Basson released a remarkably candid statement regarding his ongoing health issues.

He said: "I was diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder in 1996 - more commonly known as manic depression. With appropriate medication, I was able to manage the condition in the run up to the 2006 election. However, since then I suffered from a series of relapses including nervous breakdowns - which have required hospitalisation - and I have struggled to bring the condition under control.

"Sadly, I am told that an improvement in my condition in the short term is unlikely, and last week I decided that I would resign my seat on the Council."

To read more about this breaking story read the Ham&High this Thursday.


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