Leeds councillor is asked to step down as election candidate

Andrea McKenna.
Andrea McKenna.
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A Leeds councillor has been asked to step down as a local election candidate following her conviction for misuse of a blue disabled parking badge.

As previously reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, Andrea McKenna – a Labour member for Garforth and Swillington – was fined £120 by magistrates in September.

The Labour group on Leeds City Council subsequently imposed a two-month suspension on Coun McKenna, a former lady mayoress.

And now the YEP can reveal that the Garforth and Swillington branch of the Labour Party has asked her not to stand as its candidate in May’s council elections. It is also understood that a vote of no confidence in Coun McKenna was passed at a recent branch meeting.

However, the councillor yesterday appeared to indicate that she would not be stepping down voluntarily, telling the YEP in a statement: “I deeply regret the mistake I made, but I would like to get on with the role of representing my constituents.”

Coun McKenna was given a parking ticket when she was caught wrongfully using the blue badge on Wormald Row, off Albion Street in Leeds, on February 11 last year.

An e-mail was allegedly later sent by a council officer to the local authority’s parking manager which included an unsuccessful request for the ticket to be cancelled.

The council introduced a policy of prosecuting badge cheats as a first option instead of a last resort in late 2012.

Labour’s Garforth & Swillington branch does not have the power to deselect Coun McKenna as an election candidate.

It is understood, however, that if she refuses to stand down then the matter will be referred further up the Labour Party ladder with a view to her being removed.

Daniel Rajkumar

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