A COUNCILLOR who lost his position over alleged “standards issues” has been cleared of wrongdoing - after a £98,000 council investigation.

Cllr Nigel Ayre was suspended from his role on City of York Council’s executive in 2017.

An allegation was made against him regarding a “standards issue raised during the investigation of a whistleblowing complaint”, according to a report prepared for a council meeting.

But he was found not to have breached the code of standards at a meeting of the joint standards committee on Wednesday.

Cllr Ayre said the two year-long investigation has been one of the “most stressful and emotionally-draining experiences of my life”.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Ayre said: “At a time when my family was dealing with issues of significant ill health, I was without warning, precedent or recourse to law, sacked from my job and subjected to a process which has appeared at every turn to be a desperate attempt to find guilt, rather than investigate the facts.

“My own personal experience has brought me to the brink on several occasions and had a lasting impact on my marriage, my family and placed a huge strain on those closest to me.”

He said the process could put people off becoming councillors because he feels they are “afforded no employment rights and treated, at times, it seemed with the scantest of respect”.

Cllr Ayre was suspended at the same time as Cllr Keith Aspden, who is now the leader of York council.

A standards hearing in January concluded that Cllr Aspden breached the code of conduct in that he had disclosed confidential information, but that no action should be taken against him.

The Liberal Democrat group said the standards investigation has cost taxpayers £98,000 and that they will now “work positively to ensure the council does not repeat this process and that lessons are learnt”.

Cllr Ayre called for a formal apology following the investigation.

He added: “There should be further scrutiny of what was allowed to happen, so we have assurance that no one else will be subject to the same damaging process that was inflicted on two elected members.”

City of York Council has been approached for a comment.