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Paul Bennett Acts Successfully for Former Council Leader

21st June, 2016

Our Professional Practices Team includes a team of professionals dealing with obligations placed upon professionals, including solicitors, doctors, and also public figures such as politicians. We recently have acted successfully for former leader of Shropshire Council, and our Partner Paul Bennett issued the following statement to the media in relation to the same.

Journalists may wish to note that we will not be making any other comment on behalf of Mr Barrow, or specifically to his case.

STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF MR KEITH BARROW BY AARON AND PARTNERS LLP

The decision announced by West Mercia Police today in relation to the discontinuing of an investigation without charge is welcomed on behalf of Mr Barrow by his solicitor.

Mr Barrow’s Solicitor, Paul Bennett, a Partner with Shrewsbury based law firm Aaron and Partners commented:

“The outcome whilst unsurprising, is obviously welcomed. On behalf of Mr Barrow, we can confirm that he has always denied any inappropriate conduct, and has remained silent, despite the significant delays in clearing his name, social media innuendo and comment whilst the Police Investigation was completed.

The decision to say nothing until this matter was concluded was to ensure that the police enquiry could focus on collecting the evidence which would exonerate him without any misunderstanding or misinterpretation.

The wider issue for Mr Barrow remains that the current manner in which complaints are managed by both the Police and the Council, is a significant drain upon their resources, and that by necessity, resources have been expended in dealing with a misconceived complaint.  The legal obligation to investigate such complaints, irrespective of their obvious lack of merit, does require a review and amending.

The decision to refer matters of political life to the police is an unfortunate recent development. It does nothing to enhance the reputation of any Council or public body, and is, often, as in this case very wasteful in terms of police resources.

Mr Barrow had long intended to retire as Leader of Shropshire Council during the course of 2016 in any event, but the distraction caused by this matter was harmful to the Council so this was brought forward. He hopes that these unfortunate events will not put off others from serving in public life, although having completed a long period of leadership of Shropshire Council, Mr Barrow did feel it was time for others to pick up the challenge moving forward, and he wishes the Shropshire Council, and his former constituents all the very best for the future.

Finally, Mr Barrow would like to thank friends and family  for their fantastic support, and he looks forward to putting this misconceived complaint, firmly behind him now that the matter has been concluded.”

 

Paul Bennett

17 June 2016

For Aaron & Partners LLP

01743 453 685

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