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Former leader in court over expenses

PUBLISHED: 10:38 11 September 2009 | UPDATED: 17:08 25 August 2010

COURT ACTION: Former leader of Bexley council Ian Clement has been charged with five counts of fraud.

COURT ACTION: Former leader of Bexley council Ian Clement has been charged with five counts of fraud.

A FORMER council leader declined to enter a plea when he appeared in court charged with fraud in connection with misuse of his expenses.

A FORMER council leader declined to enter a plea when he appeared in court charged with fraud in connection with misuse of his expenses.

Ian Clement, 44, from Crayford, who was the former leader of Bexley council before he became deputy mayor for Boris Johnson, appeared at the City of Westminster magistrates on Tuesday charged with five offences under the Fraud Act.

The Conservative, who resigned from his latest £127,000-a-year post in June, is accused of misusing the corporate credit card he had in his capacity as deputy mayor for government and external relations.

He is on unconditional bail and Senior District Judge Timothy Workman adjourned the case until October 6.

Mr Clement's lawyer Jeremy Summers of Russell Jones & Walker gave the following statement: "Mr Clement is surprised and saddened that the Crown Prosecution Service should have felt that prosecution was appropriate.

"In the context of other, and far more significant, investigations it is a matter of regret that political expediency appears to be present.

"Given that the matter is now with the Court it would not be appropriate for Mr Clement to make any further comment at this time. He does though remain surprised that a publicly funded prosecution is being brought for meal expenses totalling £227."

On August 10 members of Bexley council's Internal Audit Committee exonerated Clement in connection with the use of his council credit card after he had already agreed to pay back more than £2,000 he claimed on it.

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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