A TOP Tory has demanded answers over who authorised the spending of more than £200,000 on the Mr Monkey legal action.
George Smith CBE, president of South Shields Conservative Association, today labelled the official £214,000 outlay as “absolutely scandalous”.
And he described the council’s decision to pull the plug on the five-year long legal action in the US courts as “not the end, but the beginning of the end”.
Mr Smith said: “We need to know why this spending was authorised and who it was that authorised it.
“Was it by councillors, by committee, by officers? We need these answers because it is an absolutely scandalous misuse of taxpayers’ money.
“I’d also ask why the Audit Commission has not been investigating this.
“It seems the decision was taken to end this action because the time was up in the US courts for the council to produce evidence over the identity of Mr Monkey. “
Mr Smith, of Kensington Court, South Shields, has always maintained that the four plaintiffs in the case – not the public – should have funded the legal action.
Earlier this year he wrote to PricewaterhouseCoopers, which conducts South Tyneside Council’s annual audit, demanding it steps in.