Conservative Canterbury City councillor Neil Baker talks about his drink drive shame
A Tory councillor has spoken publicly for the first time of
his drink drive shame after the premature birth of his twin baby
Neil Baker was suspended from Canterbury City Council’s
executive committee last month after admitting being more
than twice the legal limit when he smashed his Renault
Clio into a tree.
But until today he has declined to comment on the offence, which
took place in Pean Hill, Whitstable, on December 5.
His twin girls Juno and Ava were born 13 weeks prematurely 10
days ago and are "fighting hard" in a special baby unit at
Ashford’s William Harvey Hospital.
Cllr Baker, of St Patrick’s Close, Whitstable, said: "I have not
spoken until now because I've always adopted the view that I
deserve all of the abuse, verbally and electronically, I get for my
"And since things have escalated I've not had the chance to sit
down and compose a note, due to my little twin girls being born at
27 weeks, meaning I've been spending my time at the neonatal
intensive care unit at William Harvey Hospital.
"I made a huge error of judgement. I accept that. I drove a car
after consuming more than the legal limit of alcohol and was found
guilty of doing so.
"I am just thankful nobody was hurt due to my uncharacteristic
error of judgement."
Juno (left) and Ava were
born weighing little more than 2lbs each
Cllr Baker, 30, used a letter to defend city
council leader John Gilbey, who has come under fire for appointing
him to a traffic safety committee.
He said: "It has become clear some people are using my idiocy as
a way to attack him [Cllr Gilbey].
"Let us be clear. Cllr Gilbey was not the person who got into a
car after drinking more than the limit. He was not the one who hit
ice and hit a tree after drinking more than the limit.
"And nor was he the one arrested, charged and convicted of doing
Cllr Baker with partner
Emma Dawson and their twin girls
Cllr Baker, who was elected to the council in May 2011, fears
his conviction has ended any hope of him becoming a Tory MP.
He said: "At the time of my offence I was an executive member on
Canterbury City Council, chairman of the Canterbury Constituency
Conservative Association and potentially - albeit a long shot and I
stress the word ‘potentially’ - a future party candidate for
"I am now none of those things.
"I am merely a scared dad who lives for every hour, every day,
hoping his daughters fight in an intensive care unit he, through
his own stupidity, can't even drive to.
"All I ask is for some quietness in this time, not for me but
for others around me and - especially - my two gorgeous, tiny
- Click here for more Canterbury news...
- Click here for more news from across the county...