Hartlepool councillor convicted of assault explains why he has withdrawn his resignation

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A councillor at the centre of calls to quit after appearing in court for assault has confirmed he has not resigned.

News that he had been in court a week earlier when he admitted an offence of assault by battery against a woman broke as just voters were going to the polls.

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Cllr Cranney was given a community order for 24 months by Teesside magistrates Court and told to attend a Building Better Relationships programme, pay a victim surcharge of £95 and costs of £85.

Seaton Councillor Gordon Cranney. Picture by Frank ReidSeaton Councillor Gordon Cranney. Picture by Frank Reid
Seaton Councillor Gordon Cranney. Picture by Frank Reid

He was subsequently suspended by his party and Labour has called on him to resign.

Despite announcing on Facebook over the weekend that he was standing down, Cllr Cranney later withdrew it.

He has apologised for his actions, but now says the decision to resign was premature.

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Cllr Cranney said: “On Saturday evening I put out a statement saying that I would hand in my resignation, unfortunately I feel this was premature and as a result I have withdrawn the statement.

“I need time to reflect on whether or not to resign, with everything that is going on in my life at this moment in time, I don't want to make one of the biggest decisions of my life in a hurry.

"I must stress that I am not taking this lightly and I deeply apologize to everyone who feels I have let them down.”

Cllr Cranney went on to say he felt “deeply saddened” after Hartlepool Conservatives issued a statement saying their councillors would boycott meetings of Hartlepool Borough Council until he resigned, and urged other members to do the same.

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Denise McGuckin, Managing Director of Hartlepool Borough Council, said on Monday afternoon (May 9): “At this moment in time, I can confirm Gordon Cranney has not resigned as a Councillor.

“A person is only disqualified if they have – within five years before the day of election or since their election – been convicted in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man of any offence and has had passed on them a sentence of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) for a period of not less than three months without the option of a fine.”