Councillor to be investigated over porn

Phil Portwood allegedly downloaded images using Council computer

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Phil Portwood (pictured right) has resigned from a number of key positions following allegations that pornography had been found on the council computer provided for use in his household. The Acton councillor has been referred to the local government watchdog and charged with disrepute.

He is stepping down from his role with the Association of London Government and the London Fire Authority and he has requested that his membership of the local Labour party be suspended during the course of the investigation. He has been a councillor since 1984 and is a Governor of Acton High School and John Perryn Primary School.

Mr Portwood said, "Whatever the result of the investigation, the very fact of being investigated will clearly make me an embarrassment to my friends and colleagues across the Council. I profoundly apologise for this to them, and to all who know me."

He has left London whilst the enquiry into his conduct is progressing. He will remain a Councillor but has had the Labour party whip withdrawn. Cllr. Portwood had been having problems with the Council owned computer he used at his Acton home and gave it to a Council technician to repair this February. The technician discovered the images and reported it to his supervisors.

The matter was referred to police by the Council but they concluded that, as there were no images of children downloaded, it was not an issue for them. The Council then referred Mr. Portwood to the Standards Board for England which has the power to ban him from public office for five years. The Standards Board have stated that they aim to complete investigations into Councillors within six months in ninety per cent of occasions.

May 19, 2005