Middlesbrough mayor denies watching porn on his work pc and refuses to give up amid claims council chief govt ‘noticed picture of a unadorned girl‘ on his display screen
- Andy Preston immediately refused to resign following allegations he seen the picture
- He claimed stories are a part of ‘soiled methods‘ marketing campaign by his political opponents
- Middlesbrough Council has launched investigation into claims in opposition to mayor
The mayor of Middlesbrough has denied claims he watched pornography on his work pc amid allegations a council chief govt ‘noticed a picture of a unadorned girl‘ on his display screen.
Andy Preston immediately refused to resign as he insisted that allegations he seen an ‘inappropriate picture‘ are a part of a ‘soiled methods‘ marketing campaign to convey him down.
Middlesbrough Council is investigating claims a senior member of employees noticed a picture of a ‘bare girl‘ once they visited Mr Preston’s workplace.
It’s claimed the picture was on his pc display screen and could possibly be seen from the door of the empty room.
Workers on the city corridor had been required to take the picture down, the criticism alleges.
The Impartial mayor, 54, has furiously denied viewing any ‘inappropriate picture‘, claiming it was the council’s Chief Govt Tony Parkinson who alleges he noticed a ‘GIF-like picture of a unadorned girl‘.
Middlesbrough mayor Andy Preston (pictured) immediately refused to resign as he insisted that allegations he seen an ‘inappropriate picture‘ are a part of a ‘soiled methods‘ marketing campaign to convey him down
Mr Preston, who made headlines in October for urging locals to not comply with the Authorities‘s ‘unjust, merciless and illogical’ native lockdown – earlier than later reversing his stance, says Mr Parkinson spoke to him about it on the time of the preliminary declare.
In a prolonged Fb put up, he alleged the criticism is an orchestrated political plot by his rivals within the city‘s Labour social gathering, who he calls ‘a gang’ and straight accused MP Andy McDonald of making an attempt to smear his title.
He mentioned: ‘Sinister issues are taking place to attempt to power me to resign.
‘That will not occur as a result of I am 100 per cent dedicated to shaking up the way in which this city works. This newest plot to attempt to discredit me is the bottom to date.’
Mr Preston added his ‘conscience is evident and I’ve completely nothing to cover,’ following an official criticism by Mr McDonald.
He mentioned: ‘I’ve determined to go public with my facet of this really weird story after the press revealed particulars of allegations made about me by Middlesbrough’s Labour MP Andy McDonald.
Middlesbrough Council’s Chief Govt Tony Parkinson (left) and MP Andy McDonald (proper)
‘It would give folks an inkling of the soiled methods and twisted underhand ways that appears to be the accepted norm of politics in Middlesbrough.
‘Before everything, I’ve by no means and can by no means be so silly as to view inappropriate materials in a piece surroundings.
‘Not too long ago I used to be alerted to an alleged occasion that supposedly came about ‘a few yr in the past‘. I used to be by no means made conscious of the alleged occasion and I wasn’t even there when it occurred.
‘What appeared to kick off this episode was an nameless letter that was despatched not too long ago to the deputy mayor warning him of a political plot in opposition to me and referring to a hearsay of inappropriate materials on my pc display screen.
‘I alerted the council’s Chief Govt to this letter and requested him if he knew what this may check with.
‘Initially he mentioned no, however then mentioned it could relate to an incident that occurred ‘a few yr in the past‘ whereas I used to be out of the workplace at a gathering miles away.’
Mr Parkinson allegedly then recounted the incident to Mr Preston, describing how his workplace door was broad open and a ‘GIF-life’ picture of a unadorned girl could possibly be seen on the display screen.
‘He mentioned it was the sort of factor that could possibly be seen in newspapers,’ he added. ‘He instructed me he requested a member of employees to take away the picture earlier than I got here again to the workplace.
Andy Preston (pictured) made headlines in October for urging locals to not comply with the Authorities‘s ‘unjust, merciless and illogical’ native lockdown
‘Not solely did I by no means see any such picture, this alleged incident from a few yr in the past was by no means talked about to me by anybody and was by no means reported or recorded as being any sort of situation – till simply 4 weeks in the past.’
Mr Preston mentioned the council’s most senior lawyer then ‘totally thought of the alleged incident’ earlier than deciding no additional motion was wanted.
He claims this info was then leaked to Mr McDonald.
‘It is truthful to say we do not get on,’ Mr Preston added.
The mayor then claimed Mr McDonald put in a proper criticism in regards to the alleged incident and ‘alerted the press of his personal criticism in opposition to me.’
Married Mr Preston, a former hedge fund supervisor, mentioned the accusation has been ‘painful and troublesome‘ for him and his household.
He mentioned: ‘It’s a painful and troublesome expertise for me and my household to have such allegations and slurs directed in the direction of me after I cannot even defend myself as a result of I wasn’t there and did not see any such picture.
‘I do not know how the alleged picture ever appeared however I do know that I’ve carried out completely nothing fallacious.
‘I additionally know that I am completely dedicated to turning the city round after many years of decline beneath Andy McDonald and his political gang.
‘That is simply the newest in a protracted line of weird and soiled methods by my opponents who’ve hated seeing a political outsider are available in and embarrass them for his or her years of failed politics.
‘I now know they may cease at nothing of their makes an attempt to attempt to seize again the ability they misplaced after I was elected.’
Mr McDonald, Labour MP for Middlesbrough, mentioned final night time: ‘These are very severe allegations and a correct investigation needs to be carried out.
‘If misconduct is confirmed then I consider the mayor ought to resign.’
Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Simon Clarke added: ‘Clearly these are severe allegations and it’s important that the total details are established.
‘An intensive investigation might be required to make sure that public confidence in our council could be maintained. It might be inappropriate for me to remark additional presently.’
A spokesman for Middlesbrough Council added: ‘We will verify that an investigation might be carried out following a requirements criticism in regards to the conduct of the Mayor of Middlesbrough, Andy Preston.
‘The impartial investigation will happen in accordance with the Council’s requirements procedures.
‘It might be inappropriate to make any additional remark at this stage.’
Mr Preston launched an astonishing mutiny in October after Well being Secretary Matt Hancock instructed MPs that Middlesbrough, together with Liverpool, Hartlepool and Warrington would face the identical curbs because the North East.
In a video message Mr Preston mentioned they went additional than he and different native politicians had lobbied for, and in what’s believed to be a primary for an area politician, rejected the measures outlined within the Commons.
Mr Preston was elected mayor in 2019, having first stood and narrowly misplaced in 2015.
The businessman was beforehand a high-profile philanthropist in Teesside earlier than going into politics.
MailOnline has contacted all concerned events for remark.