Former Newport councillor had ‘porn on council laptop’

Peter Wilcock

Peter Wilcock - Credit: Archant

UTTLESFORD District Council has confirmed the former leader of the local Liberal Democrat group gave up his council seat after being found to have homosexual pornographic material on a council laptop.

However, in an exclusive interview with the Reporter, Peter Wilcock, 59, a former district councillor who represented the Newport ward for 18 years, rejected the claims.

He spoke candidly about the accusation but stressed that it was not the reason for his decision to quit the post. Mr Wilcock relinquished his role as Lib Dem leader last May but continued as a councillor until January this year.

None of the material was illegal.

An unnamed source told the Reporter about the claims. After we approached the district council, UDC chief executive John Mitchell issued a statement, saying: “Peter Wilcock chose to resign as a councillor after being asked to account for the discovery of a large amount of gay pornographic material – including videos featuring explicit sex acts – on a UDC-owned laptop which had been in his possession.


You may also want to watch:


“The material came to light when the laptop was handed to the council’s IT department by Mr Wilcock to be repaired.”

However, Mr Wilcock, said: “At one point I had a problem with my personal computer. It crashed and I tried to recover the files on it by transferring them to my council laptop. I had years of family pictures on my computer which I did not want to lose, so I did the pragmatic thing by trying to save them on my council laptop.

Most Read

“Unfortunately, within these many files, there were some pictures of my male partner. They were not pornographic, as has been claimed, but he was naked.”

Mr Wilcock, who has moved away from the area, said he was sorry for any confusion caused regarding the laptop and disappointed he had to stand down as a councillor.

“I have left my wife and currently live away from home. It has been a difficult time for me.

“I had tried to delete the files from my council laptop but did not realise they were still on there when I went to get it repaired. But I want to make it clear that it was not pornographic material, as has been claimed by the council.”

Asked whether he had chosen to relinquish his position as a representative for Newport because of the revelations, he replied: “This is not the reason why I stepped down from my role as a councillor. I quit because I had lengthy discussions with my local party and they suggested I resign because I wasn’t doing the job to the level I had been previously.

“I enjoyed my time as a councillor for Newport and I’m sorry I had to step down but I felt I needed to.”

A by-election is to be held on May 2.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter