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Saturday, 02 August 2014

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Copeland mayor race case reopened

A week after closing a probe into alleged racist behaviour by Copeland’s mayor the council has reopened the case.

John Jackson photo
John Jackson

Copeland council has admitted it did not allow enough time for any appeals after saying no action would be taken against John Jackson, who had been accused of using racist language at a charity function.

They should have allowed 30 days for any appeal but only left 10.

A spokesman said they had incorrectly told the mayor that the deadline had passed when ‘this was not the case’.

“We made an administrative error which led to the period of time for an appeal against the assessment sub-committee decision being stated,” the council said in a statement.

“We hold our hands up to this genuine mistake which should not have happened.

“We have apologised to the mayor for the error.”

The allegation that the mayor made a racist remark in thanking staff at the end of his fundraising charity function in the White Mare at Beckermet was considered by a council assessment committee which decided that no action should be taken.

Mr Jackson said last week he was relieved and felt a weight had been lifted from his shoulders – only to be told in the past few days of the council’s embarrassing mistake over the appeal period.

He was “raging” at the mistake, he said, and had told the council of his anger.

His term of office as the borough’s first citizen ends on May 8, when he hands over the mayoral robes to Peter Tyson.

Mr Jackson was still confident that, after the correct appeal deadline closes, the outcome of a review would be the same.

“We will just have to wait and see,” he said.

“The council has made the mistake so they can sort it out. I will finish my term of office as mayor, get on with the job of representing my ward (Beckermet) as a councillor and enjoy it.”

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