Stephensons absolves Westminster council

Stephenson Harwood has vindicated Westminster City Council over its settlement with Dame Shirley Porter three years ago. Porter had racked up costs of £44m for her role in the homes for votes scandal, but the council dropped the surcharges to bring the settlement to £12.3m in 2004. A district auditor report published last week said that the council had acted reasonably and recommended that the matter should be brought to a close. The auditor has determined that the belief that the council had been “deficient” in its pursuit of Dame Shirley Porter was “misguided and simply wrong”.