A COUNCILLOR who still works for a Green Party MEP despite being banished from the local party said he sees “no contradiction” in remaining in his paid role.
Brighton and Hove City Councillor Ben Duncan was thrown out of the Brighton and Hove Green Party in July after sending a tweet which described British soldiers as “hired killers”. He now serves as an Independent.
Despite his expulsion, Coun Duncan remains a press officer for London MEP Jean Lambert on a wage between £25,000 and £30,000 a year.
Opposition councillors said it was “hypocritical” of the Green Party.
Coun Duncan is also still deputy chairman of Brighton and Hove City Council’s licensing committee, which has an annual allowance worth £1,252.
The city council’s committees should be realigned to reflect to the new make-up of the council with one fewer Green Party member.
It is expected that Coun Duncan would lose his deputy chairman role.
But Coun Duncan’s removal was eight days before the summer recess, which was seen as too short notice. It will now probably be October before the issues are dealt with.
Coun Duncan said: “I don’t think there is any contradiction. One of the things I do is nothing to do with work.
“When I am working with Jean Lambert obviously there is no requirement or anything else that I am a member of the Green Party or an active councillor or anything else.”
Ms Lambert said she was not prepared to discuss individual personnel issues in public.
Geoffrey Theobald, leader of the Conservative group, said: “Nothing surprises me anymore about the bizarre internal machinations of the Green Party but it does appear to be pretty hypocritical to expel him from the party for wrongdoings yet allow him to continue working for one of their leading politicians.
“He is also serving on the same council committees he was on before he was expelled so it doesn’t seem as though he has had to sacrifice very much.”
Labour leader Councillor Warren Morgan added: “Despite the supposed condemnation of Councillor Duncan by the Green Party, in reality very little has changed and he remains both employed by the Party and also in committee roles on their behalf.
“We have always called for Councillor Duncan to resign.”