The leader of Kirklees Council has sacked his deputy because she has not paid her council tax.

Clr David Sheard has this morning confirmed he has relieved Clr Jean Calvert of her duties.

She remains as a councillor for Ashbrow.

The Examiner found out the details from another source and it was confirmed by the soon-to-be former leader on the phone.

Clr Sheard, who himself will resign as leader tomorrow after losing the leadership of the ruling Labour group to Clr Shabir Pandor, said he had been made aware of Clr Calvert’s debts two weeks before the local elections.

Last week Clr Calvert admitted to the Examiner that she had received a reminder letter for late payment but denied she was one of the five the Examiner has discovered have been summonsed to court owing huge sums.

But Clr Sheard said the latest unpaid council tax bill was Clr Calvert’s third offence.

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He said if anything was to happen to Clr Pandor’s leadership bid on Wednesday then Clr Calvert would automatically become leader of Kirklees Council, which he thought was not right.

“I dismissed her from my cabinet yesterday for non-payment of rates,” confirmed Clr Sheard. “I know she’s behind again.

“She’s done it twice before and this is the third time.

“As far as I’m concerned, a cabinet member should not be behind on their rates.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate.”

Kirklees Council’s official allowances and expenses for 2015/16 show Clr Calvert earned £31,432 for her role.

Clr Sheard said he had not made the details public and had not sought to embarrass Clr Calvert.

But he said he was very disappointed that she didn’t seem to take the issue seriously following her previous brush with the law for non-payment.

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In January 2014 the Ashbrow member was summoned to Bradford Magistrates Court after defaulting on her council tax payments in 2012 and 2013 while a member of the council.

The case against her was based on laws surrounding councillors voting on financial matters while being in arrears on their own accounts.

But she was found not guilty of two counts of breaking Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 after her defence that she did not know of the law was accepted by a judge.

Clr Sheard said all councillors had received guidance from the judge following the case, but Clr Calvert had still failed to pay her bills on two more occasions.

“Jean doesn’t seem to take it as seriously as everyone else,” he said.

“Everybody can make a mistake but she knows what the situation is and then she’s gone and done it twice more.

“Mistakes can happen but when it’s a serial offender I can’t ignore it.”

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Clr Sheard said he didn’t ask how much Clr Calvert owed.

Clr Calvert could not be reached for comment this morning.

A councillor, who did not want to be identified, told the Examiner other councillors were furious about the growing ‘‘Ratesgate” scandal.

They said: “There is a lot of anger about it. It’s an abuse of power. We should be treated like everybody else. In fact we should be treated more strictly than everybody else.

“It’s disgusting and people are very angry.”

The councillor source said tomorrow’s leadership vote had been thrown into chaos.

The said: “As for tomorrow there is nothing clear cut at the moment.

“There is a lot of doubt about what will happen and it’s become very messy.”