Disgraced Harrow councillors Brian Gate and David Gawn claimed thousands while being investigated by police

Harrow Times: Brian Gate was arrested in September 2012 Brian Gate was arrested in September 2012

Two disgraced councillors accused of criminal offences claimed thousands of pounds from the public purse while legal proceedings against them were active.

Councillor Brian Gate, former portfolio holder for children, schools and families, continued to receive £680-a-month from taxpayers despite being arrested in September last year on suspicion of possession of indecent images of children.

Although the former cabinet member's special responsibility allowance was stopped the day after his arrest, he only stopped claiming the basic members’ allowance when he resigned last month, having racked up more than £2,700 since his arrest.

Independent councillor David Gawn, who pleaded guilty to fraud offences in December, also continued to claim his allowance despite a court-imposed curfew preventing him from attending council meetings for six weeks.

The politician was able to claim the cash throughout the legal proceedings against him, which dragged out over 12 months from January last year.

The Harrow-on-the-Hill representative, who remains a member of Harrow Borough Council despite being thrown out of the Labour group over the charges, pleaded guilty in December and was given a ten-week suspended jail sentence.

The news has angered opposition councillors who say the situation is unfair on taxpayers.

Cllr Susan Hall, leader of the Harrow Conservative Group, said: “I am stunned that David Gawn has not had the decency to resign.

“Their criminality is bad enough but for somebody to continue to claim taxpayers’ money is totally unacceptable.”

Cllr Hall also questioned why the Labour group had continued to receive allowances for the two councillors to support its office. 

She added: "The Labour Group also has serious questions to answer. If Cllr Gawn was apparently suspended from the Group by the Labour Party nationally and Cllr Gate was ‘administratively suspended’, according to the previous leader, why did Labour continue to receive their allowance payments into their group budget?”

A Labour group spokesperson said: “By law councillors are entitled to their basic allowance for as long as they remain an elected member of the council. 

“There is a fundamental principle in English Law that you are innocent until proven guilty.

“Although a Councillor is administratively suspended, it is a neutral act not implying guilt or innocence. 

“Allowances continue to be paid until investigations are finalised.

“Brian Gate was paid his basic allowance until he resigned as a councillor on January 9 – two days after he received a police caution.

“Cllr Gawn remains a ward councillor and is entitled to his basic allowance. By law Cllr Gawn may continue in his role despite his suspended sentence.

“Neither Brian Gate or Councillor Gawn are a member of the Labour Party or Harrow Labour group."

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:11pm Wed 6 Feb 13

starbright says...

You could not make this up if you tried! Two disgusting different types of behaviour from 2 Councillors, and both guilty in their own way! Not content with their crimes, they then shaft the taxpayer by carrying on claiming their allowances! Then lets put the cherry on top of the cake.......Labour group continued to get a further allowance for each Cllr into their group budget! The Cllr O'Dowd story last year was bad enough, but this is even more serious and has far more reaching consequences! I am hoping lots of readers now jump on board here, and blog their disgust at this latest development! Harrow Times you need to push to find out who in the Labour group/Harrow Council knew about this, and/or allowed this to happen! Heads need to roll, people need to resign! Roll on next election!
You could not make this up if you tried! Two disgusting different types of behaviour from 2 Councillors, and both guilty in their own way! Not content with their crimes, they then shaft the taxpayer by carrying on claiming their allowances! Then lets put the cherry on top of the cake.......Labour group continued to get a further allowance for each Cllr into their group budget! The Cllr O'Dowd story last year was bad enough, but this is even more serious and has far more reaching consequences! I am hoping lots of readers now jump on board here, and blog their disgust at this latest development! Harrow Times you need to push to find out who in the Labour group/Harrow Council knew about this, and/or allowed this to happen! Heads need to roll, people need to resign! Roll on next election! starbright

11:20pm Wed 6 Feb 13

starbright says...

Forgot to add all morals here thrown out of the window by Labour,and our own expenses scandal all over again! Tony Mcnulty Labour say no more!
Forgot to add all morals here thrown out of the window by Labour,and our own expenses scandal all over again! Tony Mcnulty Labour say no more! starbright

11:26pm Wed 6 Feb 13

jackdaw says...

Can the allowances be clawed back and donated to charity?

In the case of Councillor Brian Gate his allowance could be donated to a charity that looks after vicitms of child abuse.

In the case of Councillor Gawn perhaps a donation to victim support would be appropriate.

Are the folks who live on the hill happy to have a criminal as their local councillor and one who is banned, by the curfew placed upon him, from attending Council meetings on their behalf?

All councillors from whatever party should be aware that their moral behaviour will be scrutinised carefully by Harrovians from now on. remember we voted you in and we can vote you OUT!
Can the allowances be clawed back and donated to charity? In the case of Councillor Brian Gate his allowance could be donated to a charity that looks after vicitms of child abuse. In the case of Councillor Gawn perhaps a donation to victim support would be appropriate. Are the folks who live on the hill happy to have a criminal as their local councillor and one who is banned, by the curfew placed upon him, from attending Council meetings on their behalf? All councillors from whatever party should be aware that their moral behaviour will be scrutinised carefully by Harrovians from now on. remember we voted you in and we can vote you OUT! jackdaw

11:50pm Wed 6 Feb 13

jackdaw says...

I seem to remember reading that Councillor Brian Gate was lead member for Labour on the Standards Committee. It would be laughable if it wasn't so tragic.

Standard - he would not know what a standard was if it bit him on the .........
I seem to remember reading that Councillor Brian Gate was lead member for Labour on the Standards Committee. It would be laughable if it wasn't so tragic. Standard - he would not know what a standard was if it bit him on the ......... jackdaw

6:25pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Davidx says...

I agree with some of the sentiments above. All Cllrs should be responsible and accountable for their conduct in fair and reasonable manner.

For the sake of fairness, it is appropriate to mention, looking at the balance of reporting recently that Harrow Times is becoming Tory Times, which is counter-productive for its effectiveness and quality of journalism in the Borough. Granted that there are some political ramifications and a little bit of political point scoring is inevitable.

However, in order to be more balanced and fair, by way of specific example, it would have been apt to explain a previous Administration, a Conservative Councillor, was suspended from Harrow Conservative Group for a sexual offence in public place. He continued to receive his allowance as he remained a Councillor.

Tory Councillor, if I remember correcrly from the media coverage that followed, voted with Conservative Group at Harrow Council when he attended Council meeting. This was national news but no mention here?


Sex scandal councillor kicked out of Tories (From Harrow Times)
http://www.harrowtim
es.co.uk/news/367029
8.Gay_sex_councillor
_kicked_out_of_Torie
s/
I agree with some of the sentiments above. All Cllrs should be responsible and accountable for their conduct in fair and reasonable manner. For the sake of fairness, it is appropriate to mention, looking at the balance of reporting recently that Harrow Times is becoming Tory Times, which is counter-productive for its effectiveness and quality of journalism in the Borough. Granted that there are some political ramifications and a little bit of political point scoring is inevitable. However, in order to be more balanced and fair, by way of specific example, it would have been apt to explain a previous Administration, a Conservative Councillor, was suspended from Harrow Conservative Group for a sexual offence in public place. He continued to receive his allowance as he remained a Councillor. Tory Councillor, if I remember correcrly from the media coverage that followed, voted with Conservative Group at Harrow Council when he attended Council meeting. This was national news but no mention here? Sex scandal councillor kicked out of Tories (From Harrow Times) http://www.harrowtim es.co.uk/news/367029 8.Gay_sex_councillor _kicked_out_of_Torie s/ Davidx

9:54pm Thu 7 Feb 13

jackdaw says...

Any Councillor from any party who has a criminal comviction should be asked to to resign and forfeit their allowances.

This time it happens to be Labour Councillors. I hope there will not be a next time but if there is they should be asked to go regardless of which party they represent.

I am sure the Labour Councillors are as upset as the residents by this terrible betrayal.

Unfortunately it means that the fall out affects all councillors as the public will be scrutinising them all with a jaundiced eye.
Any Councillor from any party who has a criminal comviction should be asked to to resign and forfeit their allowances. This time it happens to be Labour Councillors. I hope there will not be a next time but if there is they should be asked to go regardless of which party they represent. I am sure the Labour Councillors are as upset as the residents by this terrible betrayal. Unfortunately it means that the fall out affects all councillors as the public will be scrutinising them all with a jaundiced eye. jackdaw

12:36am Sun 10 Feb 13

Davidx says...

Touche!
Touche! Davidx

9:52pm Sun 10 Feb 13

Jeremy Zeid says...

If true...... WOW!!
If true...... WOW!! Jeremy Zeid

1:30am Mon 11 Feb 13

Davidx says...

Do i care if you, ur aliases and cronies, dont blv, read my comments above, you do not warrant a reply unless i choose to, nothing i said here that was not reported widely. Learn to put coherent argument without a rant.rebuke and claiming allowances and voting still. Hypocricy of top notch. On the side note, is harrow ukip's sole representative's job is to defend tory group, who are you kidding? Still time to withdraw your name from byelection so ppl of this borough can pass through your paper candidacy but again your ego will only deprive tory votes.... As for so called response, some of us who are neither cllr nor paidup braindead followers of any party, have life.now you can get a few self indulging comments to back each other here from your multiple ids and cronies to make you feel better.Enough said!
Do i care if you, ur aliases and cronies, dont blv, read my comments above, you do not warrant a reply unless i choose to, nothing i said here that was not reported widely. Learn to put coherent argument without a rant.rebuke and claiming allowances and voting still. Hypocricy of top notch. On the side note, is harrow ukip's sole representative's job is to defend tory group, who are you kidding? Still time to withdraw your name from byelection so ppl of this borough can pass through your paper candidacy but again your ego will only deprive tory votes.... As for so called response, some of us who are neither cllr nor paidup braindead followers of any party, have life.now you can get a few self indulging comments to back each other here from your multiple ids and cronies to make you feel better.Enough said! Davidx

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree