Daughter of Leics County Council's deputy leader David Sprason launches petition opposing his suspension
The daughter of the deputy leader of Leicestershire County Council has launched a petition in support of her father who faces suspension from his party.
Members of County Hall's Tory Group will meet tomorrow to discuss what, if any, action to take against Councillor David Sprason.
He voluntarily stepped down from his posts as deputy leader of the authority and cabinet member for adults and communities in November after a letter was leaked to the Mercury about a pornographic DVD which was discovered in his council laptop by a council officer in 2007.
Tory whips launched an investigation after an article appeared in the Mercury, in which Coun Sprason said he was not embarrassed by the matter. They say he broke two party rules after giving an interview to the Mercury, which resulted in a story that led to widespread coverage in the national media.
Cheap Van Insurance For 17,18 & 19 Year Old Drivers - Call Insure365 01782 898188, Free Legal Expenses Included valued at £25.00!
Terms: 1 Voucher Per Customer
Contact: 01782 898188
Valid until: Saturday, June 22 2013
They are recommending he be suspended from the party for two months and stripped of senior roles.
However, Coun Sprason's daughter, Victoria, has launched an online petition calling for him to be reinstated.
She was unavailable for comment yesterday but her petition had been signed by more than 100 people.
Some left comments saying Coun Sprason had been betrayed, had done nothing wrong, and praised him for his work on behalf of people in his Markfield, Thornton and Desford division. Others said he had been successful in his cabinet role. Coun Sprason declined to comment yesterday.
The leaked letter from the former county solicitor to Coun Sprason said no illegal activity had occurred, but told him not to view any such material on a council device again.
Council leader Nick Rushton said he would recommend his members support the whips' recommendation in full.
He dismissed the petition.
He said: "I have seen it. There was also an attempt to get one registered on the county council website, but it was rejected. This is a party matter not a county council matter.
"The petition will not form part of the evidence (presented to party members tomorrow)."
The whips' investigation concluded Coun Sprason had let his private life cause embarrassment to the party and he had failed to uphold "the highest standards of leadership and integrity". They are recommending the suspension be reduced to a month if Coun Sprason issues a written public apology.
A senior Tory councillor, who did not wish to be named, said: "There will be a debate on the suspension because if he apologises there are some who think he should not be suspended."