FULL STORY Taxigate: Milton Keynes Council releases initial report - but still no resignations

Milton Keynes Council has released its report into the rapist taxi driver scandal, following a three-month investigation.

The 42-page document was issued at a press conference on Monday morning, and details how a convicted rapist was allowed to drive a taxi in Milton Keynes for three years.

The report does NOT call for any action to be taken against staff or councillors involved in the decision, although it does list the measures taken by the council to change its taxi licensing policy.

However the issue will be considered by the council’s Audit Committee on November 25 - with its members given a brief to recommend any additional action, including the resignations by the councillors involved.

In a prepared statement, council leader Peter Marland said: “I’m very pleased that this issue has been treated with the weight and gravity it deserves, and it is being dealt with quickly and properly.

“While we must remain vigilant we are in a much better place than we were three months ago. This supports the pledge I made to be open, transparent and robust in taking action to ensure that taxi licensing policy is as good as it can be.”

The report follows the scandal of the convicted rapist who was granted a taxi driver’s licence to work in Milton Keynes, despite having four separate convictions for serious sexual offences.

Mayor Subhan Shafiq was forced to resign his post following the scandal after giving a personal reference for the man, who he described as a “lifelong friend”.

However Mr Shafiq, and councillors Stuart Burke and Gladstone McKenzie who both appeared on the committee which granted the licence, have all refused to step down as councillors, while Milton Keynes Council has no power to force them out.

Council chief executive Carole Mills outlined a number of measures which have been introduced since the scandal broke, including a new taxi licensing policy, compulsory training for councillors, drivers’ details being published online, and all taxi drivers being “strongly encouraged” to undergo enhanced DBS checks.