Should this man be given the civic dignitary title of Alderman of Milton Keynes?

The head of a council committee that allowed a RAPIST to become a taxi driver is to be given one of the highest honours a council can bestow.

Thursday, 8th September 2016, 6:01 am
Updated Monday, 12th September 2016, 6:06 pm

Liberal Democrat Stuart Burke is to be nominated as an Alderman at a special meeting of the council next week.

The civic dignitary title is permanent and second only in status to a mayor.

Already some councillors are objecting due to the part Mr Burke played in the city’s Taxi-gate scandal in 2014.

They have vowed to deliberately stay away from Alderman-making meeting, which needs two-thirds of councillors to vote the status through.

Mr Burke meets the criteria for an Alderman because he served more than 15 years on the council before losing his seat in last year’s elections.

Months previously he had failed to apologise over his committee’s decision to allow convicted violent rapist Nadeem Kiani a taxi licence to drive passengers around MK.

Mr Burke’s Lib Dem colleague, Subhan Shafiq had given a personal character reference in favour of Mr Kiani.

The scandal forced the resignation of Mr Shafiq, who was mayor at the time.

Afterwards Mr Burke was unrepentant, saying the rapist had “done his time, served his crime” and was now a “very different person.”

One councillor refusing to attend Wednesday’s meeting is the new chair of taxi licensing, Tory Catriona Morris. She said she feels Milton Keynes “still needs time to recover” from the rapist scandal.

Council leader Pete Marland said: “We’ll have to see what happens on the night”, while Lib Dem leader Douglas McCall said: “It is normal practise to recognise long service.”