Council leader praises outgoing mayor for “restoring dignity and pride” after taxi-gate

Milton Keynes mayor making. Left, outgoing mayor, Cllr. Derek Eastman and right, Cllr. Keith McLean, mayor.
Milton Keynes mayor making. Left, outgoing mayor, Cllr. Derek Eastman and right, Cllr. Keith McLean, mayor.

The leader of Milton Keynes Council has praised the outgoing mayor for “restoring dignity” in the city in the aftermath of taxi-gate.

Speaking to full council at the mayor making ceremony this evening, Councillor Pete Marland thanked Councillor Derek Eastman for taking up the job in “difficult circumstances”.

Eastman was elected as mayor earlier than expected when his Lib Dem colleague Subhan Shafiq was forced to resign when it emerged he had personally vouched for a convicted rapist to become a taxi driver. He stepped down just four months into the role.

His colleague, newly elected Councillor Robin Bradburn, was the only councillor to sit on both of the two committees that
considered Nadeem Ahmed Kiani‘s application for a licence. He still defends his decision.

Fellow Lib Dem Stuart Burke, who chaired one of the committees, lost his seat in the election earlier this month.

During a vote of thanks at the council’s annual meeting in the chamber, Mr Marland said: “It has been a difficult and testing year for the position of mayor - and for the city.

“But you have restored dignity and pride in that role. You have restored the dignity and pride of this city.

“You are remarkable and you have done a remarkable job. We should all thank you.”