Sandy Marks: Questions over political future of Islington's disgraced ex-mayor formerly linked to pro-paedophile activists
PUBLISHED: 11:49 13 November 2018 | UPDATED: 19:47 15 November 2018
Sandy Marks' future membership of the Labour Party is uncertain even after a QC-led review confirmed the Gazette's revelations about the ex-mayor's pro-paedophile past.
This week Labour confirmed Ms Marks remained suspended and said an investigation was ongoing, but could not explain what there was left to investigate, or how long it could take.
It is understood the party is currently dealing with an unprecedented backlog of membership cases.
Ms Marks has avoided speaking publicly since the publication of Sarah Morgan’s report last week, which concluded she had been affiliated to pro-paedophile activist group Fallen Angels in 1980.
But a statement was issued on Friday through a long-standing colleague, Keith Veness, in which she again denied the allegations first published in these pages 18 months ago, despite Ms Morgan’s vindication of our reporting.
She said the disclosure had had “a devastating effect” on “my health, my employment, my family and my political activities”, adding: “I was wrongly accused of a string of truly terrible things that brought me into public disgrace and destroyed much of the work I had been doing on behalf of others.”
The former councillor has been suspended from Labour since her past involvement with pro-paedophile groups surfaced.
She also resigned as director of the Islington Personal Budgets Network, a community interest company.
A spokesman added: “We cannot comment on individual cases but the Labour Party takes all complaints extremely seriously and any allegations will be looked into.”
Meanwhile, Mr Veness, a former Islington councillor who first recruited Ms Marks to the party and has known her since 1975, is campaigning to have the suspension revoked.
Ms Morgan’s report found Ms Marks had attended a conference with Fallen Angels in Spain in 1980, but no evidence her connection to the group had affected her later role overseeing children’s services at Islington.
Describing the affair as a “miscarriage of justice”, Mr Veness said Ms Marks would not have associated with Fallen Angels as “an active feminist and women’s campaigner” and added the woman in two crucial pieces of photographic evidence could not be her as “she was always a bit of a scruff”.
Before the allegations were published, he said, Ms Marks had enjoyed get-togethers for Labour members aged 50 and above and is presently barred from attending.
He said: “None of it has been proved and her suspension should be lifted forthwith. People may want justice for the survivors but don’t do that by pillorying innocent people.”