Lancashire County Council probe into ‘aggressive’ ex leader

Geoff Driver
Geoff Driver

Council bosses are investigating claims of a “physical confrontation” by the former leader of Lancashire County Council.

Coun. Bill Winlow, leader of the authority’s Liberal Democrats, has alleged he was confronted by former council leader, Coun Geoff Driver, during negotiations in May.

He says during discussions at County Hall, after the elections which left no party in overall control, Coun Driver became “aggressive” as he tried to take papers from him.

Coun. Driver, leader of the council’s Conservative group who was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Honours for his services to local government, strongly denies the claims, calling them “a pack of lies”.

Lancashire County Council confirmed they are looking into a complaint.

Coun. Driver said: “Bill has made a complaint through something he alleges happened on May 21st. I totally refute it. It’s a pack of lies.”

Coun. Winlow said: “I used to play rugby, and no bones were broken and no blood spilt, but I felt I had to say something. It needed to be drawn to attention. Coun Driver proved absolutely impossible to negotiate with.”

Coun. Winlow said he had taken two months to make the complaint as he was disappointed by Coun. Driver’s behaviour following the alleged incident.

The elections on May 2nd left no party in overall control - leading to discussions being held between all parties on a way forward. After 21 days of negotiations it was agreed Labour would form a minority administration with support from the Liberal Democrats.

The complaint will now be investigated by the council’s monitoring officer.