A town mayor and former Labour Parliamentary candidate is to go on trial accused of kerb crawling.
Paul Rounding, Mayor of Driffield, East Yorks., has been charged with attempting to pick up a prostitute in Hull, East Yorks., on Wednesday October
27 last year.
The married father-of-one pleaded not guilty when he appeared at Hull Magistrates’ Court and was released on bail to stand trial at the same court next month.
The mayor stood as the Labour candidate for East Yorkshire in the last General Election and was narrowly beaten into third place behind the Liberal Democrats as Greg Knight retained the seat for the Tories.
Speaking at his home in Driffield, Mr Rounding, 55, insisted he would continue to represent the town and said he was absolutely confident of clearing his name.
He said: “I’m a man of principle and if I had done anything wrong I would have held my hands up.
“The most important thing is to promote Driffield and that’s what I’ll be doing.”
Mr Rounding, whose wife Lyn is his mayoral consort, has been a town councillor for nearly 25 years and is in his third term as mayor.
Shocked colleagues heard the news of his trial as they arrived at a town council meeting earlier this week.
Mr Rounding’s predecessor as mayor, Steve Poessl, said: “That’s the first I’ve heard of it. If he’s been charged and he’s going to trial we will have to wait to see what the court decides.”
The mayor recently came under fire after spending hundreds of pounds of public money on a professional photo shoot at his home.
The photograph of Mr Rounding with his family was featured on the front of 200 Christmas cards which were designed and produced at a total package cost of 320 pounds, more than six times the amount spent by his predecessor on Christmas cards in 2009.
Town councillors branded the mayor’s actions irresponsible but he was not deemed to have broken any rules.