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Fraudster Holden kicked off Highland Council

By Laurence Ford

John Holden
John Holden

DISGRACED former city councillor John Holden has been booted off Highland Council.

The 62-year-old who represented the Inverness South ward on Highland Council was jailed for one year at the town’s sheriff court after being found guilty of benefits frauds totalling £43,000.

Holden, of Teal Avenue, Inverness, made a bid for interim liberation immediately after being convicted, but this was rejected.

He followed this up with a further plea for liberation on bail at the High Court in Edinburgh, pending a planned appeal against his conviction, which was refused by judge Lady Smith.

Following his conviction, Holden was kicked out of the Scottish Labour Party, and was disowned by his fellow Highland councillors.

He was later told by his former Labour Group members on Highland Council that he is no longer one of "them" as he has been expelled and was now effectively an Independent.

But his independence was short lived.

Up until last week the shamed councillor was still receiving his monthly Highland Council pay packet of £1,352, but today although his name appeared on the council’s website, there was a two line sentence stating: "Please note, in terms of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, Mr John Holden is disqualified from acting as a councillor."

Now, a question mark hangs over what the future holds for the former councillor whose estranged son, Declan Holden (37), hinted the taxman might be looking into the financial affairs surrounding car boot sales he ran in Inverness.

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