Mayoral candidate demands apology over mayor’s fraud probe comments

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An election candidate is threatening legal action against Mansfield mayor Kate Allsop, after she publicly blamed her rivals for sparking a police probe into her campaign.

The Chad exclusively revealed that a fraud investigation had been launched amid claims that she overspent to secure the council’s top position.

In response, Mrs Allsop gave out a brief statement. She said: “Presumably it is one of the losing candidates in May that has been the driving force behind this.”

But Labour candidate Martin Lee, who finished runner-up in the mayoral election, has hit back saying the comment was defamatory.

He said: “I suppose she is either inferring that one of us made the complaint to the police or that one of us involved the press. Either is a false allegation against me.

“She has no grounds for accusing me of any involvement - the first I knew of any investigation was when the Chad phoned me last Monday.

“Her facile comments, based on no evidence at all, demean her and her position.

“As her comments are, as far as I’m concerned, completely untrue and calculated to damage my reputation, I believe they are defamatory.

“I have sent an email to the mayor inviting her to retract her false allegation and apologise to me.

“I will expect her to arrange for any retraction and apology to be broadcast on the radio and published in the Chad.

“If she refuses or ignores my requests, I will have to consider my position, which might include legal proceedings.”