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Conservative councillor for Herne and Sturry Alan Marsh suspended amid sexual harassment investigation

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A Conservative county councillor has been suspended from the party after an investigation was launched into complaints about inappropriate conduct.

Cllr Alan Marsh, who represents Herne and Sturry, has had the Conservative whip removed while the investigation into the allegations, which include sexual harassment, is carried out.

KCC Cllr Alan Marsh Picture: Chris Davey
KCC Cllr Alan Marsh Picture: Chris Davey

It is understood that Cllr Marsh was recently suspended from the party for 21 days after a complaint was made about his conduct. Other complaints led to him losing the whip.

The investigation is being overseen by the authority’s cross-party standards committee, which considers complaints made about misconduct and is responsible for maintaining high standards of behaviour.

Mr Marsh has been a county councillor since 2005 and was an aviation consultant and test pilot for 40 years.

He had been chairman of the council’s planning committee but has been removed from that role pending the outcome of the investigation.

He is now listed as an independent councillor on the county council’s website.

Cllr Marsh was re-elected in 2021, comfortably winning the seat with a 60% share of the vote.

He refused to comment on the investigation when contacted by KentOnline.

Councillors are required to abide by Kent County Council’s code of conduct, which is based on the Seven Principles of Public Life set out by an inquiry into standards headed by Lord Nolan in 1994.

The investigation comes at a sensitive time for the party, with the resignation of MP Neil Parish after he watched pornographic material while in the Commons.

Labour county councillor Karen Constantine said female councillors were often the subject of derogatory comments in the council chamber.

Speaking on the ‘Paul on Politics’ show on KMTV, she said: “I find that in the chamber at County Hall, myself and other female councillors there is an attitude towards us which needs to be addressed. It is something we are aware of.”

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