Westminster lawyer gets the all-clear

Former Westminster city solicitor Matthew Ives has been cleared of wrongdoing in the council's controversial “homes-for-votes” policy.

Ives was among five people who were judged to have acted within the law by the council's district auditor John Magill last week.

Ives, now at the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales, was on holiday last week and could not be contacted. However, a statement issued by Magill said the five were not responsible for incurring or authorising unlawful expenditure or were not guilty of wilful misconduct.

The auditor has still to deliver his final verdict on nine other councillors and officials, including Robert Lewis, former deputy solicitor and now an environment law partner at Freshfields. The verdict on the nine is expected in September.