Nunthorpe councillor told to leave political group

Nunthorpe councillor told to leave political group

A councillor who admitted misconduct in public office has been ordered

to leave the political group he once led. 

Jon Rathmell, who represents Nunthorpe on Middlesbrough Council, admitted wrongdoing over invoices for a £1,500 firework display.

The Middlesbrough Independent Councillors Association (MICA) said he should leave the group.

He is due to be sentenced at Teesside Crown Court on 28 May and has been contacted for comment.

MICA leader Jim Platt said there was a unanimous vote by members who agreed he should leave.

Mr Platt said: "There are 10 of us left and because Jon pleaded guilty we felt his position was untenable - so we move on.

"We'll continue to look to do our best for Middlesbrough."

Rathmell, 42, of Mallowdale in Nunthorpe, pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office - with the charge relating to a firework display, misrepresented emails, and a £1,500 payment. 

Teesside Crown Court heard how the "abuse of public trust" was linked to Nunthorpe Community Council in 2018 and 2019. 

Rathmell was the leader of MICA before stepping down in late 2019 citing health reasons, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

He stepped back into the leadership role last year before Mr Platt took the reins in December. 

Middlesbrough Council has confirmed Rathmell will no longer sit on the corporate affairs and audit committee which he led as chairman.

A council spokesman said: "As [councillor] Rathmell is no longer a member of MICA, he is therefore no longer entitled to continue his membership of a number of council committees including corporate affairs and audit."