Monday, January 01, 2007

'Prince Naseem' joins 'Honest Jim' in honours hall of shame...

Former world boxing champion Naseem Hamed and former Leader of Lincolnshire County Council Jim Speechley were both disgraced when their behaviour landed them in court.

Both also served time in Doncaster Prison.

Today, they have something else in common:

Naseem Hamed was today stripped of his MBE.

The BBC are reporting that an official notice said the Queen had directed that Hamed's name be erased from the Order of the British Empire.

Hamed served 16 weeks of a 15-month term for causing serious injury to Anthony Burgin in a high-speed crash in May 2005.

Jim Speechley, former Conservative County Council Leader was stripped of his CBE after he was jailed for 18 months in April 2004 after being found guilty of misconduct in public office. (see BBC report)

He was found guilty of trying to change the route of a bypass to inflate the value of land he owned near Crowland.

In case there's any confusion, that's 'Prince Naseem' as he liked to be known on the left, and 'Honest Jim' as he liked to be known, on the right.

It's unlikely that they shared a cell.


Anonymous said...

Just thought I would let you all know that Labour Watch are reporting that A FORMER mayor and serving Labour councillor is facing trial in the New Year after being charged with a £13,000 benefit fraud.

John McGowan, 53, of Ribble Way, Low Moor, Clitheroe, is alleged to have been caught playing golf, shopping and even doing a paper round while claiming a high level of disability allowance.

McGowan is both a Ribble Valley councillor and Clitheroe town councillor, representing the Edisford and Low Moor ward. He was the Mayor of Clitheroe for two years from 1997.

He has not been suspended from his role on either council.

McGowan is alleged to have been overpaid by £13,114 for a two-year period during which he claimed a high level of disability.

He is charged with failing to give notification of a change of circumstances affecting his disability allowance payments.

At Blackburn Magistrates Court McGowan pleaded not guilty and elected to be tried at Preston Crown Court.

The prosecution allege that during that time he was seen playing golf Stoneyhurst Golf Club, shopping in a supermarket and even doing a paper round.

The case was adjourned until March for the preparation of committal papers.

The Labour councillor has more than 16 years local government experience.

He defected to Labour from the Liberal Democrats in 1999 after a row that saw him disposed from his role as deputy town mayor in Clitheroe.

On Ribble Valley Council McGowan is on the housing committee, has a responsibility for the overview and scrutiny of council services and sits on the parish council liaison board.

Clitheroe town clerk Ian Wolstencroft said: "We are aware of the court proceedings and are awaiting the outcome. Before then we are not in any position to comment."

A spokesman for Ribble Valley Council said that they could not comment on the issue while court proceedings are ongoing.

fairdealphil said...

thanks Geoffrey:

does he have a CBE...?

fairdealphil said...


You'll no doubt also be aware of

1. The current Peterborough Tory councillor who was arrested last week by police on suspicion on obtaining property by deception.

2. The Conservative Councillor who was found guilty a couple of weeks ago of Public Order Offences after calling gay people paedophiles at a council reception. He has been given a conditional discharge and must pay £250 of court costs.

3. A Senior Harrogate Tory councillor damned last week by a local government watchdog for using his position to help a fellow Tory gain a controversial planning permission to build a house.

The councillor, Nigel Simms, chairman of an area planning committee on Harrogate Council, used his casting vote to approve planning permission for a house in the Nidderdale area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) – a decision which flew in the face of six established council policies.

The proposed development was on land owned by fellow Tory councillor Margaret Atkinson, adjacent to her farm at Parkfield, Kirkby Malzeard, near Ripon. Coun Simms failed to reveal he gave his colleague lifts to council meetings and often saw her socially.
Anne Seex, the local government ombudsman, was severely critical of Coun Simms and also criticised two other Tories.

Not Lincolnshire, no CBE's involved, but I suppose the planning connection justifies the mention...!

Anonymous said...

I am angry that Geoffrey Archer has not been stripped of his title. He also served a prison sentence and I do feel that the legislation introduced to remove honours in certain circumstances should have been retrospective. Lord Archer is entitled to payment for his attendance in the Lords, has subsidised perks and ironically, involved in the legislative. He of course is a man lacking in morality and one who enjoys media attention. He brings the House of Lords in to disrepute and of course will never resign........

fairdealphil said...


you are right. Jim Speechley disgracefully turned up as an elected councillor for a public council meeting with a police tag attached to his leg.

at least once he lost his appeal and resigned, he accepted the game was up and he resigned.

Archer is still threatening a come-back.

having a former jailbird as a lord brings the whole system into disrepute.

fairdealphil said...


i forgot to wish you a Happy New Year....hope you've had a good holiday!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Phil. I did have a good although busy holiday as I did all the cooking - something I enjoy. I am now desperately trying to lose the weight that I put on!!!