Yesterday Jon Collins said there were 'no scams' in the appointment of Harold Tinworth as a consultant to NCC's executive. It seems that the Post would beg to differ.
They have managed to get hold of email correspondence between Collins and Tinworth which appears to show blatantly political advice being given, the most damaging, in my opinion, being this extract -
"The solution to the problem is to change the government asap. The budget review has to be agreed on its tight timetable but has it/will it exclude, diminish the real priority for you all and how do you guard against it. ie If getting the least damaging package of cuts from 80% right to 90% right stops you campaigning as effectively as you could and are able to do would that be the right balance [sic]".
On one level this could be seen as simply a question of time spent by councillors either campaigning or working on the budget. Or could it be that Tinworth was advising that a budget with damaging cuts (e.g. to Supporting People) would be better for Labour attacking the Tories?
The government has regularly claimed that Labour councils were engaging in 'political' cuts and this plays right into their hands. Yet more top political judgment skills from JoCo there.
Let's not forget that this whole 'political advice' thing was supposedly nixed by the call-in process last year. It seems that, in a shocking show of contempt for due process they went ahead anyway.
How can the Labour Party continue to support Collins as a candidate after this?