Six arrested in police probe are Ashfield Independent councillors

The offices of Ashfield District Council.
By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter

Six people who were arrested as part of a police investigation into alleged fraud are Ashfield Independent councillors.

Nottinghamshire Police made the six arrests on Wednesday, November 16, and searched four addresses across Sutton-in-Ashfield, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Underwood and Stanton Hill.

The Ashfield Independents have since confirmed all six people are councillors from the political group.

Their names have not been released by the party.

A police spokesman said two men, in their 20s and 40s, and three women in their 30s and 70s were held on suspicion of fraud, money laundering and misconduct in public office.

The three women have also been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice, and one of the women was also detained on suspicion of fraud and electoral offences.

A man in his 50s has also been detained on suspicion of fraud and electoral offences.

In a statement, the Ashfield Independents group “vigorously” denied all allegations and said the councillors are “confident of their innocence”.

Police said all six people have since been released under investigation, and no charges have been brought.

Police usually only name arrested people if they are charged with an offence.

Confirming the arrests, an Ashfield Independents group spokesperson said: “We can confirm six members have been questioned by the police.”

They added: “All our councillors vigorously deny any wrongdoing. They are all equally confident in their innocence.”

A spokesperson for Ashfield District Council also confirmed the arrests took place but said the authority “will not comment further”.

They said: “The arrests yesterday of a number of Ashfield Independent councillors is an ongoing police matter and the council should not and will not comment further at this time.”

No further details about the specific offences have been released.

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