Late East Riding Conservative councillor cleared of ‘conflict of interest’

A Conservative councillor has been cleared of accusations of a conflict of interest over planning appeals which led to his expulsion shortly before his death.

By Joe Gerrard (Local Democracy Reporting Service)
Thursday, 19th May 2022, 11:40 am
Cllr Paul Lisseter, of East Wolds and Coastal ward, was suspended by the East Yorkshire Conservative Association and by extension East Riding Council’s ruling Conservative group for 12 months in March 2021. Photo courtesy of LDRS
Cllr Paul Lisseter, of East Wolds and Coastal ward, was suspended by the East Yorkshire Conservative Association and by extension East Riding Council’s ruling Conservative group for 12 months in March 2021. Photo courtesy of LDRS

An appeal brought on behalf of the late Cllr Paul Lisseter against his expulsion by the East Yorkshire Conservative Association in April last year has been successful, the party confirmed.

The councillor’s widow Joanne Lisseter told LDRS justice had prevailed after the party wrote to her clearing him of wrongdoing, stating the expulsion arose from disagreements among association members.

East Yorkshire Conservative Association Chairman and East Riding councillor Felicity Temple told LDRS the suspension and subsequent expulsion of Cllr Lisseter was democratic and followed party procedures at all times.

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Cllr Paul Lisseter, of East Wolds and Coastal ward, was suspended by the association and by extension East Riding Council’s ruling Conservative group for 12 months in March 2021.

He was accused of a conflict of interest after appearing as a witness before a public inquiry into the blocking of housing schemes in Pocklington and Swanland which was overturned.

Cllr Lisseter appeared in his capacity as a private property developer and not a councillor.

The association then voted to expel Cllr Lisseter who remained on East Riding Council but sat as an independent.

He denied any wrongdoing or connection to Gladmans, the company behind the housing schemes, and vowed to fight the expulsion.

Cllr Lisseter died of a sudden heart attack in June at the age of 58.

He is survived by his widow Joanne.

LDRS understands the letter Mrs Lisseter received from the Conservatives stated a party panel found no grounds for his suspension and later expulsion.

It added the expulsion itself was not found to have brought the party into disrepute and reflected internal association disagreements.

Mrs Lisseter said she welcomed the party’s ruling and thanked those who took up her late husband’s case.

She said: “Justice has prevailed and it’s been shown that Paul did nothing wrong.

“I’d like to thank councillors Jonathan Owen, Jane Evison and Bernard Gateshill for all their help in helping to get Paul’s name cleared.”

Conservative group and East Riding Council leader Cllr Owen did not respond to LDRS’ request to comment.

The leader, also of East Wolds and Coastal ward, said at the time of Cllr Lisseter’s death that he was devastated by the news.

Cllr Owen said: “Paul was a great colleague and a credit as a local ward councillor representing East Wolds and Coastal Ward alongside myself and Cllr Jane Evison.

“Paul was forthright, always well researched, and challenging the status quo, all the attributes of a good councillor, but he would always go the extra mile to help anyone.”