Ex-council leader complains about £2m police investigation

County Coun Geoff Driver
County Coun Geoff Driver

A leading politician has called for the “removal” of Lancashire’s Chief Constable and his deputy as the row over the long running police investigation into One Connect Ltd heats up again.

In an online message County Coun Geoff Driver, leader of the Tory group, revealed the Independent Police Complaints Commission has recently ruled in his favour.

He says he complained to the IPCC about Lancashire Constabulary ignoring complaints he raised with Chief Constable Steve Finnigan and the force over the last few years relating to Operation Sheridan, the long running investigation into the council’s former One Connect Ltd partnership with BT.

The councillor’s comments came after it was revealed the police investigation has cost nearly £2m and 22 staff are still working on it. Coun Driver was in charge at County Hall when One Connect was set up and had been interviewed by police - but in March last year the constabulary dropped investigations into his role.

The councillor took to social media to claim that police were ignoring facts. He claimed: “I can demonstrate beyond any doubt whatsoever that Chief Constable Steve Finnigan and his deputy Andy Rhodes were made fully aware of the flaws in their detectives’ investigations at an early stage but they chose, for whatever reason, to allow their officers to ignore the facts and continue to waste Lancashire Council taxpayers money on this unprecedented scale.”

Lancashire Constabulary declined to comment. The IPCC said: “We recently upheld an appeal and have communicated the decision to the complainant and (the police).”