Croydon Tory must quit over secret £10k pay rise
Croydon’s Tory leader, Cllr Mike Fisher, has today admitted awarding himself a secret 20% pre-election pay rise worth £10,000. Fisher, who was leader of the council until May, hid the payment from voters before the election after forcing through a council tax hike a year earlier claiming the council was short of money.
Senior Tory councillors, including those who work for Croydon Central’s Tory MP, have not explained how Fisher was able to pocket thousands of pounds of public money without having to declare it until after polls closed.
In public Tory councillors said they were “not minded” to take a pay increase but failed to explain this did not rule out cabinet members taking the increased allowance later on.
Croydon North MP Steve Reed has written to the Prime Minister, David Cameron asking him to look into Mike Fisher’s pay increase. You can see a copy of the letter here. He also said: “It is outrageous that Croydon’s Tory leader helped himself to £10,000 of public money without telling the voters after hiking up council tax and cutting public services. He and his Tory friends used a form of words that gave the impression they would not take pay rises but let them trouser the money later on. This looks like a deliberate attempt by the Conservative Party to deceive the voters over councillors’ allowances.
The Council must immediately set up an investigation to establish whether there has been any malpractice and which Tory councillors were involved. Public money cannot simply be syphoned off into Tory councillors’ bank accounts on the quiet. Cllr Fisher’s position as Leader of the Conservatives on the council is no longer tenable and I call on him to do the honourable thing and resign.”