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Councillor and businessman held on corruption charge

Cllr Roger Matthews has been arrested on suspicion of corruption
Cllr Roger Matthews has been arrested on suspicion of corruption

A Herne Bay councillor and a businessman from the town have been arrested on suspicion of corruption.

Officers from Kent Police's serious economic crime unit called at the homes

of Cllr Roger Matthews and Herne Bay Golf Club owner Julian Brealy. Both were later released on police bail.

Cllr Matthews, who represents the Greenhill and Eddington ward, says the investigation will not interfere with his council duties.

"I was taken in to answer questions and I am helping police with their inquiries," said the Lib Dem councillor.

"The matter involves other people so for that reason I don't feel I can talk about it. It wouldn't be fair on anyone else."

The 56-year-old, who has lived in Herne Bay all his life, added: "I hear the gossip just like others have. All I can say is there is nothing for me to worry about in terms of my council work.

"In fact I'm in the council offices as I speak. I'm certainly not hiding."

But Cllr Matthews, of Beltinge Road, failed to turn up at Tuesday's meeting of the planning committee, on which he sits.

He was first elected as a councillor in 1995.

Mr Brealy has confirmed that he is under investigation for a criminal offence.

His solicitor Tim Senior said: "He completely denies the allegation made

against him and is confident his innocence will be shown in due course.

"In the meantime he is continuing to co-operate with the police investigation."

A police statement read: "Two Herne Bay men, aged 56 and 50, were arrested by officers on July 16 on suspicion of corruption.

"They have been released on police bail."

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