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Mayor of Mirfield to return to duties after no police action over allegations of assault

Clr Paul Blakeley seeks legal advice over libel

Newly-elected Mirfield town councillor Paul Blakeley

Mayor of Mirfield Paul Blakeley is preparing to return to his role after police are no longer investigating an allegation of assault against him.

West Yorkshire Police are said to be taking no further action on the matter, said to involve a woman, which circulated on social media almost a fortnight ago.

Clr Blakeley, 26, who chairs Mirfield Town Council and is one of the organisers of the annual Mirfield Show, decided to take a “leave of absence” for his mayoral duties. He categorically denied the allegations of assault that were published on the community Facebook group Mirfield Matters but then deleted.

He has now issued a new statement and says he is eager to get back to work.

“As per my previous statement on September 18, 2017, public allegations made against me over social media were completely different to what was reported to the police,” he said.

“All charges relating to the allegation made to the police have been dropped and the police are taking no further action on this matter. Legal advice is currently being taken regarding the pursuit of a case of libel and the defamation of my character.”

He added: “This is a stark reminder of the complexities surrounding criminal investigations and one should not jump to conclusions or take sides until all the facts are established and an allegation has been proved to be true, beyond all reasonable doubt, in a court of law and certainly not just instantly believe something written on a Facebook post.

“I’d like to put this situation behind me and continue to work hard for my local community as I rescind my leave of absence as councillor and Mayor and hope everyone else can too. I’d also like to take the time to thank those who have supported me during the investigation.”

Last night (THURS) Clr Blakeley’s father, Chris, said the police’s decision to drop the investigation was “only verbal at the moment” but that a formal letter was expected to arrive in the next few days.

When he was elected to Mirfield Town Council in December 2015 the Examiner reported that Mirfield-born Clr Blakeley was a scout leader with the 8th Mirfield group and also worked with Mirfield Pantomime. He is involved in several voluntary groups in the town including Mirfield Round Table. He also helped organise Mirfield Round Table’s annual beer festival.

Clr Blakeley could not be contacted for comment.

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