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Ex-councillor up on fraud charges

A controversial Wigan ex-councillor has appeared in court accused of fraudulently claiming childcare expenses.

Emma McGurrin, 35, who was de-selected by the Labour Party earlier this year before suffering a crushing defeat in last month’s local elections, is set to go on trial at Liverpool Crown Court in September.

She stands accused of falsely claiming that childminder Michelle Taylor looked after her daughter while she was on council business between June 26, 2012, and February 19 last year.

Prosecutors allege McGurrin, of Scholes, made a false representation in order to gain cash for herself.  The amount alleged to have been falsely claimed has not been disclosed.

After appearing at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court, she was released on unconditional bail.

In February last year – when the allegation came to light – McGurrin vehemently denied any wrong-doing.

She said: “I’ve been paying out of my own pocket for childcare all this time until council officers said I could claim this year’s back.

“I want to know why my expenses have been signed off in their handwriting and now I have supposedly done something wrong?

“It’s clear to me that they have never had anybody before who is so challenging.”

A spokeswoman for Wigan Council declined to comment on McGurrin’s appearance before Wigan Magistrates’ Court this week.

Last month McGurrin, standing for the Wigan Real Labour Party, suffered the ignominy of receiving just 63 votes in Standish in the local elections – having previously polled more than 2,000 votes as part of the Labour Party.

She’s no stranger to controversy, either.

In 2012 she was cleared of claims that she racially abused a British-Asian taxi driver as he drove her home following a night out.

She was previously ordered to make a public apology after the Labour Party’s red rose logo featured on posters and tickets for a fireworks party.

Source:  http://www.wigantoday.net/news/local/ex-councillor-up-on-fraud-charges-1-6661883

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