Blackpool Council leader Simon Blackburn denies role in broke charity deal

Blackpool Council leader Simon Blackburn
Blackpool Council leader Simon Blackburn
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The leader of Blackpool council has hit back at his political opposite number over the investigation into charity Jobs, Friends and Houses.

West Yorkshire Police has been called into probe Lancashire Police’s involvement with the charity which helped recovering addicts and prisoners find purpose, work and homes. The charity hit financial trouble and in 2017 had to be bailed out and taken over by the police and the council.

READ MORE: West Yorkshire Police to probe Lancashire Constabulary’s involvement with troubled Blackpool charity
Coun Tony Williams said, when interviewed about the probe, that he understood council leader Simon Blackburn had been “instrumental” in agreeing the bail out.

Today Coun Blackburn said: “I have had absolutely no meaningful involvement with this organisation, at any stage. The decision to loan money to the organisation, to safeguard those people involved in the scheme was made by a council officer, and I believe this was the correct, and probably the only possible decision to take, given the highly precarious position the organisation had got itself in to.

“But Coun Williams assertion that any of this has got anything to do with me, is complete nonsense. I believe that a full investigation by West Yorkshire Police into Lancashire Police’s conduct is a very welcome development, and the council will help where we can, but ultimately, the council’s main role in this was coming to the rescue.”

The police probe has come after Lancashire Police referred itself to the Independent Office of Police Conduct.