PracticeAccounting FirmsDistrict auditor cleared of improper conduct

District auditor cleared of improper conduct

John Magill, the district auditor who spent more than a decade investigating the Westminster council homes-for-votes scandal, has been cleared of acting improperly by the European Court of Justice.

Link: Westminster Council hot on £27m trail

In a judgment published last week, the court said it could find no evidence that Magill, who at the time worked for Deloitte & Touche, had acted unfairly.

Magill spent over 12 years engaged in proceedings against former council leader Dame Shirley Porter. The £3m investigation centred on claims that the council had engaged illegally in a housing sales policy designed to keep the London borough under Conservative control.

Magill imposed a £31.7m surcharge on six individuals involved in formulating the policy in 1996. A series of appeals have seen the claims against Dame Shirley and David Weeks, her successor as council leader, upheld, though the surcharge was reduced to £26.4m.

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