The England First Party has made political corruption in Preston a major campaign issue in the 2012 local elections. Leaflets have gone out in the past week across Ribbleton ward highlighting the case of Frank McGrath, former deputy leader of Preston City Council, who in March 2010 was convicted of laundering money for a major drug trafficker and jailed for four and a half years.
Our leaflet, published in support of Mark Cotterill, the EFP’s anti-corruption candidate for Ribbleton, pointed out that McGrath – who was one of the leaders of the “Preston Mafia” whose influence extended across much of Lancashire – had been ordered to pay almost £1 million. This represented profits from criminal activity.
Today that anti-corruption campaign has been dramatically vindicated, as former councillor McGrath has been ordered to spend a further two years in jail. He still owes more than £400,000 of his ill-gotten criminal loot.
The England First Party calls for a full inquiry into Labour’s “Preston Mafia” and the web of corruption that Lancashire police tried but failed to uproot during the 1990s. Both the Labour and Conservative parties have questions to answer about this corruption scandal – especially with a new Lancashire Police Commissioner due to be elected later this year.