Investigation into Barnsley councillor sentenced for unlawful eviction

Barnsley Coun Phil Davies
Barnsley Coun Phil Davies

Labour chiefs have launched a new investigation after a South Yorkshire councillor was sentenced for illegal eviction.

Phil Davies, who has represented the Old Town ward in Barnsley since 2012, was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to unlawfully evicting Wayne and Lisa Smith and their children from a property he leased to the family on Lingard Street, near Barnsley town centre , in June 2013.

He was given a 12-month community order, 60 hours’ unpaid work and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £80 and £1,000 costs.

Barnsley Council said under the Local Government Act a councillor was only automatically disqualified if a custodial sentence of more than three months was imposed and Coun Davies could continue as a councillor.

His current term of office ends in 2016 but he remains suspended from Labour. An investigation has now been launched by the party’s National Executive Committee.

A Yorkshire Labour spokesman said: “Phil Davies remains suspended from the Labour Party pending the outcome of an NEC investigation.”