Local councillor reprimanded over email ‘mistake’

Cllr Tim Brett

A Fife Liberal Democrat councillor has been reprimanded after using his council email account for party political gain.

Councillor Tim Brett sent an email to the chairman of Drumoig Community Trust (DCT) asking for help in distributing campaign leaflets ahead of last year’s general election.

Stephen Gethins took the North-East Fife seat for the SNP with just two votes between him and Lib Dem candidate Elizabeth Riches.

Former trust director and SNP activist Henry Orr raised the complaint against Mr Brett with the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.

This week, Mr Brett attended a hearing in Fife House, Glenrothes, which was conducted by the Standards Commission for Scotland (SCS).

It was revealed that Mr Orr had emailed DCT members warning them that responding to Mr Brett’s request could have “significant consequences” for the politically neutral trust.

Mr Brett was censured after the SCS determined his actions had fallen below the standards expected of those in public life.

However, the SCS noted it was a result of an inadvertent mistake.

Mr Brett said he was “probably tired” after months of campaigning, adding: “This has taught me a lesson.”