Suspended Stobhill councillor Rachel Moore is back in the ranks

Stobhill councillor Rachel Moore who was suspended weeks after her election is back in the party fold

Rachel Moore
Rachel Moore

A councillor who was suspended from her party and investigated weeks after being elected has been allowed back into the ranks.

Rachel Moore won a seat on Morpeth Town Council in Northumberland at May’s local government elections after standing as a Conservative in the Stobhill ward.

Within weeks of taking up her new role in public life, she was suspended by the party pending an investigation into undisclosed allegations made against her.

Now, Tory bosses have revealed that the suspension was lifted a number of months ago, after the matter was resolved.

Ms Moore meanwhile insists she is happy with the way the matter was handled.

At the time of her suspension, officials at the Morpeth and Wansbeck Conservative Association refused to say what the probe would look into.

However, it then emerged that last year Ms Moore was given a 12-month conditional discharge by magistrates after being convicted of offences under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.

She pleaded guilty at Mid and South East Northumberland court in Bedlington to two counts of producing a false prescription.

It is understood that, following Ms Moore’s election to the town council, her court conviction was revealed in an anonymous letter to local Tory officials.

Party bosses insisted they knew nothing of the matter when she was selected to stand as their candidate against five Liberal Democrat rivals in the five-seat Stobhill ward.

Despite her suspension, Ms Moore, who lives in Greenfield Drive, Choppington near Ashington, was continuing with her role as a town councillor - with officials there unaware of her party ban.

At the time, questions were asked about whether she was a suitable person to hold public office and allegations made about her behaviour.

One Morpeth resident, who asked not to be named, said: “I believe those who voted for Ms Moore on May 2 are unaware of her true character, and were this to become known she certainly would not have been elected to such a prominent position representing our town.

“I am shocked that the local Conservative Party does not have more rigorous procedures to vet its candidates, and I hope they put such procedures in place in the future.”

He claimed her personal situation makes Ms Moore “totally unfit for office.”

One Tory insider said: “Things have been raised subsequent to the council elections which give us serious concerns.

“We go through a selection procedure with candidates but, unfortunately, some things slip through the net.”

Now, however, the suspension has been lifted. A statement from the association said: “The Conservative Wansbeck Constituency Party can confirm that the suspension of town councillor Rachel Moore was lifted a number of months ago after a brief period following internal party processes.

“Whilst the party cannot comment on internal investigations or complaints received about individual members, we can confirm that the matter is now resolved.

“Miss Moore will continue in her role as a Conservative councillor on Morpeth Town Council.

“As an association we look forward to working with her to make life better for the people of Morpeth.”

Ms Moore said the suspension had been lifted in June and insisted she is happy with the way the matter was handled. She added: “I am still on the town council working towards the common good for the community.”

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