Kingston Lib Dems’ council leader Derek Osbourne arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children

Lib Dems in Kingston have been left shocked by the sudden resignation of council leader Derek Osbourne following his arrest on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.

The news broke on Wednesday, with the local paper reporting a statement by Cllr Liz Green, acting leader of Kingston Council: “Derek Osbourne has resigned from the Liberal Democrat group. We are deeply shocked by these allegations but I am unable to comment further as we must now allow the police the time and space they need to investigate the allegations thoroughly and without prejudice.”

The paper reports today that he has resigned from the council entirely, after 27 years as a councillor, including more than a decade as council leader:

He was suspended by his party during an emergency meeting held that same evening in Guildhall, before resigning as leader, party member and councillor the following morning in an answerphone message to the group office. As news spread quickly of his departure, politicians in Kingston responded in a mixture of surprise and disbelief.

Edward Davey, Liberal Democrat MP for Kingston and Surbiton, said: “I am shocked and appalled by this news. It is right that the group immediately suspended him and that he has now resigned. Now the police investigation must be completed and the council needs to choose a fresh leadership.”

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