This week 30 years ago: 42 Islington Labour councillors face 5-year ban from political office

Islington Gazette: June 10, 1988

Islington Gazette: June 10, 1988 - Credit: Archant

Islington Labour councillors faced disqualification from political office.

In 1985, 42 councillors – the “Islington 42” – took part in a rates rebellion.

A district auditor said he considered them guilty of “wilful misconduct” as they had “no reasonable explanation or excuse” for delaying fixing a rate until May 31 that year.

He alleged they did this as a lever to “prise” extra money from central government.

He gave the “42”, of which 22 had stepped down as councillors by 1988, until September to justify their actions.

The penalty was payback of the £145,906 ratepayers’ losses and the 20 sitting councillors being removed from the town hall. Additionally, the “42” would be banned from political office for five years.

Council leader Margaret Hodge was defiant: “We acted at every stage with the full benefit of our officers’ legal advice and we have every confidence our decisions will be vindicated when they are closely examined.”

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