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Canterbury councillor Neil Baker suspended from executive comittee

Neil BakerA top Canterbury city councillor charged with drink driving has been suspended from the authority’s cabinet committee.

Tory Neil Baker, of St Patrick’s Close, Whitstable, was given the news by council leader John Gilbey this week.

The 30-year-old, whose portfolio includes communications and tourism, was arrested on December 5 after crashing his car near the junction of Pean Hill and Bogshole Lane in Whitstable.

He escaped the smash uninjured and was helped out of the Renault Clio, which had become stuck between two trees. He was later charged with drink driving and is set to appear before magistrates on Friday, January 4.

Mr Gilbey - who has described Baker as a "very valuable member" of the Tory group - has suspended him from the ruling Executive committee, but he will continue to represent the party in Tankerton ward.

Mr Gilbey said: "It’s taken me some time but I have decided to suspend Neil from the cabinet until the AGM in early May.

"I had to do some soundings within the group with the usual reliable people and there was a variation in what people expected. There will be a formal announcement shortly."

Baker, whose girlfriend is expecting twins, was elected to the council last May and is chairman of the Canterbury Conservative Association.

He describes himself as a self-employed journalist and is director of the Bridge-based firm Cobasine, a new media development company.

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